Plus: Area Craigslist Scam Alert
The new commander of the 110th Precinct introduced himself to the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) civic group at its Monday, Feb. 6 meeting at Bethzatha Church of God in Elmhurst.
“I have big shoes to fill,” Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson told the crowd, noting that he was friends with his predecessor, Deputy Inspector Richard Napolitano, who has moved on after four years to the Detective
Leyson most recently was the commanding officer of the 111th Precinct, and before that ran the 115th Precinct’s IMPACT zone along Roosevelt Avenue.
“I hope to continue the partnership that has been established,” he said.
104th Precinct crime report
Capt. Michael Cody, the commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, announced that the area serviced by COMET was flat in crime over the past week and slightly down over the past month. However, burglaries and robberies have seen slight increases throughout the precinct in 2012, he warned, with two burglaries occurring in the northern area of Maspeth.
Among the crimes the command is keeping an eye on is scrap metal thieves. Cody urged anyone who sees someone carrying bare metal in a shopping cart to call 911. He added that some residents do sometimes make plans to have scrap metal removed legally.
He also stated that the precinct is investigating a real estate scam involving a man who advertises available properties for rent on Craigslist, then takes the money from responders when they come to offer a deposit- and promptly disappears. The culprit uses disposable cellphones in an attempt to avoid being traced, he added.
The precinct is continuing an aggressive anti-graffiti program, and is cooperating with the transit police to apprehend vandals, he stated.
Cody was asked to crack down on four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles, commonly known as “quads,” which have been seen in portions of Maspeth. He reminded residents that such vehicles must be proberly licensed, and that the precinct has been ticketing people seen driving them illegally.
He was also asked to keep an eye on parents and school buses doubleparking around P.S. 58 in Maspeth and other area schools.
Capt. Terry O’Toole, the 108th Precinct’s executive officer, told the crowd of several safety measures for children walking to and from school, such as the Department of Transportation’s Safe Passage to School project.
The precinct is down 8.7 percent in crime over the past 28 days. COMET’s area saw two burglaries, 10 robberies and three stolen cars (two without their license plates, O’Toole claimed).
The precinct also cooperated with the Buildings Department on an auto shop at Laurel Hill Boulevard and 66th Street that housed abandoned cars, he announced. The site was slapped with a vacate order due to the presence of additional car bays which were improperly built.
“Those business are basically out of business, to be blunt,” he stated.
Rosemarie Daraio, the president of COMET, asked O’Toole to look into a livery car company near St. Mary’s Winfield Church who has received 12 summonses over the past eight months for parking cars on nearby streets. According to Joe Kenton of City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s office, all the cars seem to be licensed to a single person.
Daraio claimed that residents with taxi limousines could lease the cars and possibly use them for illegal purposes.
“We are going to try and hit him how we can,” said O’Toole.
The precinct also continues targeting trucks which are driving illegally, with over 57 summonses issued over the past month.
Det. Richard Garland of the 110th Precinct Community Affairs Unit gave the crowd details over a “pretty busy” month, with four felony assaults in COMET’s neighborhood, including one in which two men ad each other arrested for attacking each other with weapons.
There were also two stolen cars, two burglaries, two robberies and six grand larcenies.
Garland warned residents about a scam in which thieves pose as Con Edison employees in an attempt to gain entry into area homes.
Incidents of the crime have occurred in the 104th and 100th Precincts, he stated.
Daraio reminded the crowd to keep their phone number on the telemarketer do-no-call list.
She also implored them to keep an eye out on the ongoing Cross-Harbor Freight Rail study being conducted in part by the Port Authority. The agency had previously supported a proposal to build a tunnel from New York to New Jersey that would bring freight in by rail to Maspeth.
She warned that the implementation of such a project would result in a large increase in truck traffic in the area, and expressed concern that recent changes in truck traffic flow in the area are precusrors of the tunnel.
“It seems to all be coming to our end of Maspeth,” said Daraio. “I have a funny feeling that’s why they’re doing the [Maspeth] Bypass.”
COMET usually meets on the first Monday of each month that the Bethzatha Church of God, located at 85-20 57th Ave. in Elmhurst.