Crime is up 42 percent in the 114th Precinct over the last four weeks due in part to six active robbery patterns, Captain Peter Fortune, the precinct’s commanding officer said.
The uptick in crime is from the period from February 22 through March 20 and crimes including robberies, felonies, grand larcenies and assaults are driving the increase, Fortune told residents during Tuesday’s 114th Precinct Community Council meeting in Astoria.
The NYPD did make an arrest in one of the six patterns. A man who was connected to four commercial burglaries within the 114th Precinct and one in the 112th Precinct. He jumped over counters and stole money from several convenience stores, displaying knives and a gun in some instances. He was finally arrested in the confines of the 112th Precinct after attempting another burglary, Fortune said.
The man had been released from jail on March 4 for two robberies in Manhattan. He is now in police custody and bail is set at $175,000.
Police are also searching for a suspect wanted in connection to a bank robbery. The man, who is about 25 to 35 years old, robbed an Astoria Bank on 30th Avenue and a Chase Bank in Bayside. He also robbed a bank within the 104th Precinct. He has a thin build and a neatly groomed beard, police said.
A robbery pattern in the Woodside Houses has hit the 114th Precinct and the 108th Precinct. According to Fortune, a Hispanic, heavyset male is pushing victims in elevators, displaying a knife and moving property. Fortune said the suspect has not hit since late February after officers, who have a lead on the suspect, targeted him.
They do not have enough evidence to arrest him yet, he said.
“Sometimes, just letting the bad guys know you’re on to them will stop them,” Fortune said.
Three men who stuck up a 7-Eleven store in Long Island City on March 14 have robbed two other stores, according to police. They were observed fleeing in a 2015 Chevy Malibu after each caper.
After QNS reported about a man wanted for five knife-point robberies in Astoria, Fortune said his precinct was “inundated with calls” from local residents who recognized the man. Residents identified him as a sanitation worker and police were able to get a positive identification from his boss. Soon after, his parents enrolled him in a drug rehabilitation facility.
The Health Information Privacy Act bars police from knowing where the suspect is, but Fortune said that once the suspect is released they will look to make an arrest.
The last pattern occurs in the Queensbridge Houses. Suspects are making fake phone calls to local Chinese food restaurants and several males are using physical force to rob delivery food employees, Fortune said.
He said he expects robbery numbers to dramatically decrease once these patterns are closed.
Felony assaults are also up 34 percent during this 28-day period. He said 23 are closed by arrest, 15 incidents are connected to domestic violence and seven occured in the Queensbridge, Woodside and Ravenswood Houses.
He added that police arrested a man wanted for shooting a 32-year-old man in Long Island City in the left arm.
“The goal is to identify where the problematic locations are, who the problematic perpetrators are and target them and that’s what were doing,” Fortune said.