Members of the Flushing Business Improvement District (BID) and the 109th Precinct met at Councilmember Peter Koo’s district office on November 1 to help raise awareness of pedestrian safety and discuss robbery prevention strategies. The meeting was held in response to several recent robberies in Flushing.
“Our ultimate goal is to keep Flushing safe,” said Detective Kevin O’Donnell of the 109th Precinct. Working together with the Flushing BID, the NYPD put forth a number of prevention strategies to keep civilians safe.
O’Donnell reminded the public that purses and pocketbooks should always be carried on the shoulder and zipped closed at all times. Closing all bags makes it harder for thieves to get inside. Also, important documents – such as passports or social security cards – should never be carried in baggage unless they are necessary for daily activities. If personal documents or credit cards are stolen, remember to report it and cancel them immediately to avoid identity theft.
“The basic thing to remember is not to put yourself in a position where you can become a victim,” said Tina Lee, a board member of the Flushing BID.
“A lot of times they work in groups,” said Flushing BID board member Timothy Chuang. “One of them will talk to you while another one steals from you.”
O’Donnell says that pick-pocketers may not always grab your attention. “They don’t always look like what you think a bad guy would look like,” he said. “Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what’s going on around you,” said O’Donnell.
According to police, recently reported crimes have been carried out by people ranging from senior citizens to a mother and daughter couple and measures are being taken to prevent further robberies.
The Flushing BID and 109th Precinct have also produced posters detailing how to prevent becoming a victim of pick-pocket and other robberies. The posters – which are written in both English and Chinese – will be displayed throughout Flushing.
“We don’t want people to have to be concerned for [citizens] safety,” said Flushing BID Executive Director Dian Yu. “We want people to come to Flushing and have a good time.”