Although crime has dropped in the last month, a rash of recent robberies and burglaries across the 104th Precinct has the precinct’s commanding officer concerned.
During the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at St. Margaret Parish Hall in Middle Village, Captain Mark Wachter said crime dropped by 2 percent over the most recent 28-day period, but robberies spiked from only eight last year at this time, to 18, a 125 percent increase. Burglaries went up from 16 to 27, for a 68.8 percent increase.
Two of those robberies were committed by the same perpetrator, a man who held up two cab drivers — one in Ridgewood and one in Glendale — at gunpoint and stole their property and the keys to the cab.
“Burglaries, that’s what driving the crime in the precinct,” Wachter said. “We took 15 burglaries in a week, which is tremendous, it’s a lot of burglaries in this precinct. We average about three or four a week for the command.”
In order to deal with these burglaries, Wachter has redeployed officers to the areas that are being hit the hardest — which have been the Ridgewood and Maspeth areas most recently. This tactic has paid dividends for the precinct, as burglaries have been reduced back to the average of three burglaries per week.
“During the week I’m getting an additional 16 cops a day that we deploy in the Ridgewood/Maspeth area to basically knock these burglaries down,” Wachter said. “We were really able to curtail this activity of burglaries in the Maspeth/Ridgewood area.”
Although burglaries and robberies went up last month, felony assaults, grand larcenies and grand larceny auto crimes have all decreased over the last month.
Wachter also mentioned the murder that happened in Ridgewood last month when a resident fatally stabbed his roommate. There were also three rapes in the precinct over the last month.
With Halloween coming up, Wachter warned those in attendance to be aware of more creepy clown sightings and threats to local grammar and high schools as people like to pull pranks during this time of year.
The 104th Precinct Community Council also recognized Police Office Richard Shubella as Cop of the Month for a traffic stop in Maspeth that resulted in the police department taking nearly $14,000 worth of drugs off the streets.