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Comet Fights Scrap Thieves

Battling Metal Foragers In Maspeth

The 104th Precinct continues its fight against area scrap metal thieves, the precinct’s commander told the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) at its Monday, May 7 meeting at the Bethzatha Church of God in Elmhurst.

Capt. Michael Cody (left), the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer, and COMET President Rosemarie Daraio speak out against scrap metal thieves at the civic group’s May 7 meeting in Elmhurst.

Capt. Michael Cody reported two incidents of scrap metal thievery in the precinct-from a front yard on Maspeth Avenue, and from a delivery truck parked on Flushing Avenue- over the past month.

Some residents claimed that scrap metal hoarders continue to plague the area, with some even claiming that fire hydrant caps are being taken in the area.

In general, however, the 104th Precinct’s battle against scrap thieves has been “a success story,” the commander stated, adding that residents should call 911 if they see someone suspicious.

According to Cody, the 104th Precinct is down slightly in overall crime for the month and year.

He added that robberies are up for the year but down in the past month and the past week. Grand larcenies are also down, and auto thefts are down in the precinct as well as in Patrol Borough Queens North.

While there have been no auto thefts in COMET’s part of the precinct, two have been “on the fringes” of the neighborhood.

He reminded residents to park their cars with the wheels close to the curb and in well-lit areas to prevent the thefts of tires and rims from vehicles, which Cody claimed continues to be part of a citywide trend.

Cody also announced that the 104th Precinct will receive 15 new officers, who are being reassigned from IMPACT zones throughout the city. According to Cody, this represents the most new cops since the commander was assigned to the 104th Precinct.

In response to a resident’s question, Cody promised to make a crossing guard for Fresh Pond Road and Eliot Avenue a priority when the new school year begins in September.

108th Precinct

Capt. Terry O’Toole, the 108th Precinct’s executive officer, began his report by reminding residents to call 911 if their apartment is burglarized. He explained that a recent burglary victim had called his relative instead of the police.

He also told the crowd that eight recent burglaries have occurred in COMET over the past month, “all afternoon type stuff.”

In one burglary case, the command has even brought in bloodhounds from the Bronx to find the man responsible.

O’Toole added that the command is also making arrests in many burglary cases. Residents who see someone ringing doorbells indiscriminately (looking for open doors or empty residences) are urged to call 911.

Overall, the precinct is down nine percent for the month and is also down for the year.

Turning to the case of a local livery cab owner parking vehicles on streets in the Winfield area of Woodside, O’Toole told COMET that the station’s owner is “taking advantage of the situation” by ensuring that the cars are moved around within a legal timeframe. This has led to complaints from residents near the area that the vehicles are taking up neighborhood parking spots.

“If you see it,” said the officer, “call the precinct.”

110th Precinct

P.O. Janine Rivera of the 110th Precinct Community Affairs Unit announced that crime in the precinct is down eight percent over the past 28 days, although burglaries have shown a slight uptick. However, the precinct remains up 6 percent for the year.

One of the big issues over the past month was a fight outside a local nightclub that resulted in a bouncer being stabbed in the leg, as well as a robbery at the same location.

The area also had four burglaries, including a commercial burglary of a real estate office at 82nd Street and Queens Boulevard.

The 110th Precinct continues to battle livery cars illegally picking up passengers near the Queens Place and Queens Center malls, Rivera told the crowd, with 24 summonses issued over the past month and over 100 so far this year.

In response to a question about neighbors making noises that sound like they may be a product of domestic issues, Rivera urged the crowd to call 911.

“Let us go there,” she told COMET. “Let us knock on the door.”

COMET meets on the first Monday of each month at the Bethzatha Church of God,, located at 85-20 57th Ave. in Elmhurst.

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