109th cops honored for halting burglary

Photo by Joe Anuta
By Joe Anuta

Officers from the 109th Precinct are assigned to a specific unit, but the March Cops of the Month proved that the city’s Finest put their titles aside when confronted with a crime.

Police Officers Troy Burchard and Carl Caputo work as part of the precinct’s School Unit, but they helped bust two burglars Feb. 1 after they were approached by a terrified woman.

“These officers are some of the 109th’s finest,” said Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire, speaking at the 109th Precinct Community Council’s monthly meeting, where he gave out the two awards.

On Feb. 1, the partners were in their cruiser on 41st Avenue when a woman approached them and said her house had been broken into, said Maguire, the commanding officer of the precinct.

Burchard and Caputo did not know if the perps were still in the basement of the residence, but after they approached they arrested two men age 23 and 38, who were in possession of electronics and jewelry, according to Maguire.

The awards were presented by the Greater Whitestone Taxpayer’s Civic Association. President Kim Cody also presented the precinct council with a $250 check.

After Maguire gave out the awards, he later reviewed the crime statistics through March 11 compared to last year.

Overall crime went up from 350 major crimes last year to 370 this year, a 5.7 percent increase.

Maguire said the precinct is fighting the success of last year, and several small increases reflect that. In addition, the warmer winter meant more criminals were outside committing crimes than last year, when a blizzard and weeks of snow largely kept people inside their homes and offices, Maguire said.

Although compared to 11 years ago, overall crimes were down nearly 53 percent, according to NYPD statistics.

In the 28-day period before March 11, felony assaults were down to 15 from 18 over the same period last year, a decrease of 16.7 percent.

Robberies, which involve taking property by force, and grand larcenies, which involve theft of property of more than $1,000 or snatching someone’s property, stayed even at 53.

Car thefts were down to 140 over the 28-day period this year, compared to 146 over the same period last year, a decrease of 4.6 percent.

Two more burglaries were committed during the time period this year compared to 34 in the same month last year, an increase of 5.9 percent.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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