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Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

Grand larceny offenses lead crime in Flushing, Whitestone and College Point, according to the commanding officer of the 109th Precinct.

According to Inspector Judith Harrison, while the recent work van theft crime trend has “curtailed itself,” property theft and monetary scams still continue to drive crime numbers in the precinct.

“Grand larceny is really what’s driving the command,” Harrison said at the 109th Precinct Community Council meeting on April 19. “Grand larceny is accounting for — on any given 28 day period — anywhere between 50 and 70 percent of the crime, with, specifically, identity theft leading the way.”

To avoid falling victim to the prevalent mail fishing crime, where perpetrators pull mail from mailboxes, the inspector encouraged residents to invest in Uniball 207 pens. The gel impact pens contain an ink that sticks to checks and documents, making it harder for thieves to wash and alter them.

She also encouraged residents to invest in paper shredders to properly dispose of all important documents thieves may look out for in the trash.

The next most common crime in the precinct is theft of unattended property, the commanding officer continued. Harrison reminded those in attendance to never leave valuables behind when exiting their cars or a public area, even for a short amount of time. She also reminded those who carry purses or backpacks to sit with their bags closed and in front of them instead of behind, where someone could easily access them and steal what’s inside.

“We’re trying to get you to stop leaving your property unattended … because that’s still something that we see,” she said.

Harrison also said the precinct has seen a series of Craigslist scams in recent months. Thieves will use the classified advertisements website to post up apartments that are supposedly up for rent. Once an interested party reaches out to them, the perpetrator asks that they send money to hold the apartment or view it.

“Of course, there is no apartment,” Harrison said. “In some cases, people are actually being shown an apartment. They go to move in, and there are other people there.”

Harrison encouraged residents to be very wary of such online postings and to always be hesitant to hand cash or personal information over to a stranger.

“I still see these reports that say the same things coming across my desk all the time,” she closed. “These crimes are still continuing to happen.”

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