Officers from the 111th Precinct have slammed the brakes on a number of thieves caught stealing car tires and rims across Bayside, the precinct’s commander reported during Wednesday’s Community Board 11 meeting.
Deputy Inspector William McBride said there had been a string of tire and rim thefts in late August and September, as well as a spike in thefts of Ford Econoline vans, in the Oakland Gardens section of the neighborhood. In the 28-day period ending Sept. 25, there had been 10 grand larceny auto incidents in the precinct, up from four a year earlier.
“We think the perps were stealing the vans to use to transport the tires that they stole,” McBride said.
Several suspects were arrested. He noted that the suspects were mainly from Long Island and other parts of Queens.
The precinct command, which includes Bayside, Auburndale, Little Neck, Douglaston and Hollis Hills, has seen an uptick in crime this year, mainly due to a rise in felony assaults and grand larcenies, which McBride said was due to domestic violence issues and scams respectively. He warned residents, especially the elderly, to be weary of scams, including one in which someone calls a person’s home pretending to be the IRS, demanding cash payments or payments via gift cards.
“The IRS does not take Green Dot or Visa gift cards,” he warned. “If you get a call like that, hang up. Call the police. It’s a scam.”
For the week ending Sept. 25, overall major crimes were down 58 percent in the precinct. That’s despite a 25 percent increase since mid-August and just under 14 percent increase on the year. But McBride warned that despite the large percentage increase, that was because the overall numbers were small, as the 111th Precinct has had the reputation for decades for being one of the safest.
He also noted that overall major crime reminds down 4 percent from two years ago.
“The trend is still good,” McBride assured.