By Madina Toure
Skimming devices and the theft of Econoline vans have contributed to a rise in grand larcenies in the 109th Precinct in Flushing, Capt. Thomas Conforti told the precinct community council’s monthly meeting last week.
At the end of August, skimming devices were found on two ATMs at the Duane Reade store at 136-02 Roosevelt Ave. in downtown Flushing and one device was found on an ATM at a gas station at 29-16 Francis Lewis Blvd. in the Broadway-Flushing area.
In June, a skimming device was also found on an ATM at a gas station at 17-55 Francis Lewis Blvd. in Whitestone.
At the Oct. 14 meeting in the precinct’s muster room at 37-05 Union St., Conforti said the precinct was able to recover the two skimming devices at the two gas stations on onFrancis Lewis Boulevard in August. More than 30 people in the precinct’s area were affected.
“At the end of September, beginning of October, now we reaped the consequences of that and what happens is all the people that had their credit cards compromised, now opened up their credit card bills and found thousands and thousands of dollars of charges,” Conforti said.
He also said nine Econoline vans were stolen in the last two weeks.
But Conforti noted that the precinct has seen an overall decrease in shootings and stabbings in the area.
“When you start comparing crime, no crime is good, but as far as shootings and stabbings or what have you, knock on wood, we’ve still been very consistently down in those categories,” he said. He also fielded questions about the ongoing investigation into the death of Elmhurst resident Qing Qing Kiemde, 28, whose disemboweled body was found in Kissena Park last weekend.
He could not speak about specific circumstances but stressed that the precinct’s detective squad and Queens Homicide are actively working on the case and that no individual has been positively identified as a person of interest.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour