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Home Invaders Still at Large

Also: 104th Pct. Battles Slight Crime Spike

Detectives are continuing to search for two men who bound a senior citizen and stolen cash from a home on the Maspeth/Woodside border earlier this month, the 104th Precinct’s commander reported during the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting in Middle Village last Tuesday, Mar. 18.

Police Officers Vincent Chiarello and James Cullinan were honored as Cops of the Month during the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting on Mar. 18 at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village. Shown during the award presentation are (from left to right) Precinct Council Treasurer Tania Broschart; Sergeant-at-arms Dieter Vey; Cullinan; Corresponding Secretary Chris Landato; Capt. Christopher Manson, 104th Precinct commander; Chiarello; Vice President Abraham Markowitz and President Mario Matos.

Capt. Christopher Manson told attendees at Christ the King Regional High School about the recent invasion, which occurred in the vicinity of Calamus Avenue and 74th Street.

Reportedly, a 70-year-old male resident exited the home to put out the trash when he was approached by two suspects, who were described as Hispanic males. According to Manson, the perpetrators forced the resident back into the residence, bound him with duct tape and put him in a closet.

After restraining the victim, it was noted, the crooks then ventured down to the basement, where they located an unlocked safe containing $7,000 in cash. The bandits removed the money, then fled in an unknown direction.

Manson indicated the home invasion appears to be an isolated incident, but that the crooks most likely had prior knowledge of the safe.

The case was presented to the 104th Precinct Detective Squad, and as of press time, its investigation continues. Those with information about the caper are urged to call the squad at 1-718-386-2735; all calls will be kept confidential.

Aside from the open case, Manson summarized a number of recent notable arrests made by 104th Precinct officers, which included suspected graffiti vandals and a knifepoint robber.

The captain reported the arrest of two 16-year-old boys accused of breaking into cars and vandalizing homes on a Maspeth block. Reportedly, the incidents occurred on the morning of Mar. 15 along 72nd Street and 52nd and 53rd avenues.

Officers from the 104th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit captured the duo after they allegedly spray-painted tags onto the side of a house. The suspects reside in the 104th and 109th precincts.

Manson also mentioned the arrest of Bryant Aguilar, a Bushwick man suspected of committing several knifepoint robberies in Ridgewood last month. Officers in the 83rd Precinct captured him for shoplifting on Feb. 26, and according to Manson, the suspect later confessed to taking part in at least two of the Ridgewood robberies.

In each of the capers, he noted, the victims were women between 20 and 60 years of age. Reportedly, Aguilar displayed a large kitchen knife and demanded property; no victims were injured.

The commander stated Aguilar had “basically no criminal history” prior to his arrest, but in statements made to police, indicated he committed robberies after becoming addicted to heroin.

“Within a month, his whole life went down the toilet,” Manson said.

Year-to-date, overall crime rose by 1.7 percent, Manson said, but he noted the stats were compared to extremely low crime figures recorded at the same time a year ago.

Felony assaults and burglaries are down so far in 2014, but grand larcenies and auto thefts have increased. The captain noted that thieves are targeting older vehicles, generally makes and models which are 8 years old and over.

Cops of the Month

Police Officers Vincent Chiarello and James Cullinan were honored as Cops of the Month for making several notable arrests earlier this year, including the apprehension of a suspected bank robber in Maspeth.

The officers responded to the heist which occurred on Jan. 14 at the Chase bank located at 66-02 Grand Ave. While canvassing the area, they received information on the whereabouts of the suspect, later identified as 56-year-old Jimmie Knight of Staten Island.

Chiarello and Cullinan reportedly located Knight after the suspect allegedly purchased $1,100 in jewelry with the bank’s stolen cash. The perpetrator, according to Manson, has a lengthy criminal history and had been released from prison shortly before the heist.

The two officers were also praised by Manson for catching three burglary suspects on Jan. 5 and a man who shot out a car window with a BB gun on Jan. 14.

Other news

Several attendees voiced concerns about traffic problems on local streets. One resident complained about gridlock on Forest Avenue in Ridgewood during the evening rush hours which make it impossible for drivers to make turns down intersecting roadways.

Manson stated the precinct would submit a request to the city Department of Transportation (DOT) have stoplight sequences on Forest Avenue examined and, if necessary, changed to keep traffic moving.

Salvatore Candela also asked for the command to crack down on drivers who illegally park in no standing zones near the Metropolitan Avenue M train station on weekday mornings. The commander indicated he would direct officers to conduct an enforcement operation at the location.

Paul Kerzner pressed the precinct to take further action against two Ridgewood fruit stands which bend and break regulations regarding displaying merchandise on sidewalks.

Though the command previously visited both locations and issued summonses to the owners, Kerzner suggested officers start confiscating products if repeat violations are found.

Abraham Markowitz, precinct council vice president, announced a safety event will be held on Saturday, Apr. 26, at Glendale Community Garden on 88th Street to coincide with the garden’s Earth Day celebration.

Police officers will be on hand to provide crime prevention information and offer VIN etching, Operation ID cell phone registration and child safety identification cards.

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The next 104th Precinct Community Council meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday night, Apr. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King Regional High School, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village. For more information, visit www.104pcc.org or call the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit at 1-718-386-2431.

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