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Battling Back Against Theft

104th Precinct Sees Robberies Declining

The 104th Precinct has battled back against in the area after being up significantly earlier this year, the precinct’s commander told residents at the Committee of Organizations of Precinct 104 (COP104) meeting last Wednesday, July 25 at Maspeth Town Hall.

COP104 President Barry Nisenson, Capt. Michael Cody and P.O. Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit hold court at COP104’s Wednesday, July 25 meeting at Maspeth Town Hall.

The precinct is still up for the year, with 143 robberies in 2012 as opposed to 135 this time last year, but the command is down for the past 28 days, with 20 robberies over the past month as opposed to 30 this time last month, according to Capt. Michael Cody.

The precinct is also up slightly in felony assaults, with many of the cases being of a domestic nature, but burglaries and larcenies are on the decline.

In total, Cody told the crowd, the precinct’s index crime rate is about the same as it was in 2011, with 904 total crimes compared to 909 for the period ending July 27.

The commander offered several tips to keep the crime rate down further.

Currently, the precinct has seen a rash of iPhone thieves who are using bikes to sneak up on unsuspecting pedestrians, steal the phones and pedal away. Cody encouraged the crowd to be aware of their surroundings.

He also suggested that residents activate the “Find my iPhone” feature on the phones so that the precinct can track them if they are stolen. The commander also noted that Apple has been cooperative with authorities in helping them track stolen phones.

The precinct is also working with “secondhand dealers” such as pawn shops to help track stolen merchandise.

Turning to car thefts, Cody urged residents not to keep their keys in their ignition when exiting the car, as a significant percentage of the 104th Precinct, 121 auto thefts in 2012 came from residents leaving the car on.

Helping officers navigate Queens

One resident noted that several homes on her block lack visible house numbers.

“You walk up and down these blocks, you won’t see addresses on most of these houses,” Rosemarie Daraio, president of the COMET civic group, noted.

While street addresses are not required by law to be visible, Cody noted that since it’s harder to get around Queens than Manhattan, having the address visible helps first responders accurately locate themselves and people in need.

“It does get very confusing,” the commander told the crowd.

COP104 President Barry Nisenson also suggested that homes on blocks with community driveways also feature their address on the rear of their homes.

Traffic issues

Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, asked Cody how the precinct is tackling traffic concerns.

Holden complained that the Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking to institute speed zones as opposed to installing speed humps.

“It’s just giving us false security,” he said. “We live in the City of New York; we know how people drive.”

Cody agreed, telling Holden that “I like the speed bumps.”

The precinct is also cracking down on motorcycles congregating on Grand Avenue near the Harding Expressway in Maspeth, with Capt. John Travaglia, the precinct’s executive officer, in charge of keeping them under control.

Cody admitted that policing motorcycles is “very, very tough.”

“We do our best with that,” he added, stating that the precinct attempts to prevent large groups form

Other news

The precinct continues to make progress in its battle against scrap metal thieves-and the dealers who purchase the metal.

Currently, metal goes for $235 a ton.

“They know we’re on to them,” said Cody, referring to the buyers.

Cody noted that the precinct continues to monitor noise and nightlife issues surrounding the Hush Lounge, a Maspeth bar.

Cody announced that the precinct is looking for volunteers to serve on a revamped 104th Precinct Community Council. Residents who are interested should contact P.O. Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct’s Community Affairs Unit at 1-718-386-2431.

Michael Hetzer, the council’s previous president, resigned earlier this year, and the council has not met since.

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