By Joe Maniscalco
Nothing is routine. When cops pull over a vehicle they never really know what they’re getting into. Such was the case last month when cops from the 62nd Precinct stationhouse at 1925 Bath Avenue pulled over a van passing through a traffic signal at 26th Avenue and Shore Parkway. As they approached the vehicle, the police officers spotted two women in the front of the van and one man in the back. At first glance, there might not have been anything wrong with this picture, except that when the cops drew closer to the van Police Officer Christopher Price noticed that the man in the back was holding a something in his hands. The something turned out to be a shotgun. Things could have turned sour very fast but the officers were able to remove the occupants from the van and confiscate the weapon without so much as a scuffle, according to Community Affairs Officer Steve Agosta. Getting one deadly weapon off the streets would have been a feather in any crimefighter’s cap, but when cops got the van back to Bath Avenue they were able to get a closer look at its contents. In addition to the shotgun recovered from the occupants riding in the van, cops also found a 9 mm. handgun. For their outstanding work in recovering the deadly weapons without firing a shot, Police Officers Christopher Price, Pedro Diaz and Luciano Dinatale were hailed as “Cops of the Month” by the 62nd Precinct Community Council last week. In presenting the special citations to his officers, Captain Frank Cangiarella lauded their professionalism and street smarts. Latest police statistics show that the command is continuing to experience a drop in incidents across the seven major crime categories of murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, grand larceny and grand larceny auto. The only areas where the 62nd Precinct is showing an increase in crime is burglary and stolen cars. Burglaries in the Bensonhurst command were up almost 14 percent over the previous year, according to the NYPD’s latest Compstat report covering the week of December 12 through December 18. Cases of stolen vehicles, meanwhile, rose by almost four percent.