109th Cops of Month stop armed stickups

109th Cops of Month stop armed stickups
Photo by Joe Anuta
By Joe Anuta

The men allegedly behind a series of gunpoint robberies in Flushing and a suspected serial car thief were all cuffed this summer, thanks to the 109th Precinct’s Cops of the Month.

The 109th Precinct Community Council recognized the officers of distinction at their Sept. 12 monthly meeting, where commanding officer Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire spun a tale of the accused criminals’ handiwork and the city’s Bravest who caught them.

“Bad guys, nice work,” he said, glancing at Police Officer Philip DeGorter and Sgt. Michael Lobomski, who made a crucial arrest while on patrol during the graveyard shift July 12.

At around midnight, the officers spotted two males who fit the description of a duo who had been reportedly sticking up residents between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. for at least a month.

The suspects fled upon seeing the officers, with one flinging a handgun into a nearby bush along the way, according to Maguire.

When DeGorter and Lobomski made the arrest, another man approached to tell the officers that he and a friend had just been robbed.

The perps, who were 20 and 24 years old, had extensive arrest histories, according to Maguire and were currently awaiting trial at the time of the meeting.

DeGorter and Lobomski did not let up. On July 28, the partners were on patrol at about 3:50 a.m. when they saw a Mazda blow through two red lights near the corner of Union Street and Sanford Avenue.

When the officers pulled over the driver and passengers, they noticed a woman’s pocketbook in the console. Shortly afterward, a 911 call came over the wire describing a pocketbook stolen at gunpoint from a woman who was also beaten, according to Maguire.

The caller’s name matched the ID in the pocketbook, and when the three men in the car were cuffed the cops also recovered a stolen cellphone in their possession that had not been reported.

Two other officers received Cop of the Month awards for August for foiling a series of car break-ins, according to Maguire.

“They are out there fighting crime when everybody else is tucked in bed, sleeping,” Maguire said of Officers Christine Scarry and Raymond Nappi.

On Aug. 24 at about 6:40 a.m., near the corner of 138th Street and 64th Avenue, a woman reported she caught a man inside her vehicle dismantling her steering column in an attempt to steal the car, Maguire said.

The man fled, but officers Scarry and Nappy recalled a report of another attempted car theft from earlier in the night.

The partners eventually came across a man attempting to break into a car in the neighboring 107th Precinct and quietly approached him as he was attempting to unlock the car with a wire.

After making the arrest, the thief told Scarry and Nappy that they were lucky they surprised him, otherwise there would have been a fight, according to Maguire.

“The size of this guy was 6 feet 2 inches tall and over 240 pounds,” he said, “so the fight would have been on.”

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