Burglaries fuel a recent rise in crime across the 104th Precinct, captain tells Ridgewood residents

Photos by Anthony Giudice/QNS

For the first time in a long time, crime has gone up in the 104th Precinct.

During the 104th Precinct Community Council’s monthly meeting on Sept. 20 in Ridgewood, Captain Mark Wachter, the precinct’s commanding officer, announced that crime is up 18 percent in the precinct over the last month — for a total of 20 more crimes.

According to NYPD CompStat 2.0, the 104th Precinct has seen an increase in robberies (+1 incident), felony assaults (+4), grand larcenies (+7), and burglaries (+11) between Aug. 22 and Sept. 18.

“Burglaries, that’s a problem we have in this command,” Wachter said. “[We are] seeing an increase, there were 35 burglaries in the last month, predominantly over in the Ridgewood area.”

The precinct has noticed a lot of the burglaries reported in the neighborhoods involve people having money stolen from their house, especially while the owners are away on vacation.

“We have some people targeted because they are on vacation, Wachter said. “Well how do [the criminals] know? [The owners] post it on Facebook, ‘we’re going away to Florida. Alright, well half the neighborhood knows you’re going away to Florida.”

Wachter also attributed the crime spike to scammers, identity theft and ATM skimming. These crimes are considered grand larcenies.

“The only way to stop a majority of these crimes is prevention, is awareness,” Wachter told those in attendance.

Although the 104th Precinct has seen an uptick in crime over the last month, officers have made more arrests as well. During the same one-month period last year, officers arrested 23 people; this year, there was a 120 percent increase in arrests.

“So we are getting more crime committed, but in turn we have arrested many more people,” Wachter said. “We are making arrests on these crimes, it’s just a lot of times you’ll either have a person who commits multiple crimes or if you catch a person … with DNA, they could be responsible for many more crimes.”

Wachter also handed out the Cop of the Month award to an officer from the 104th Precinct who helped stop a burglary in Maspeth in August.

Police Officer Louis Marinacci was involved in a struggle with a career burglar who broke into a home in Maspeth. In the struggle, Marinacci fired his service weapon once and injured the suspect before he was finally apprehended.

Captain Mark Wachter (left), Police Officer Louis Marinacci (center), and Len Santoro, president of the 104th Precinct Community Council (right).
Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

“It’s not the first time he has won this award, and I guarantee it won’t be the last time,” Wachter said of Marinacci. “These guys go out there, and that’s what they do, they target offenders who do crimes and make sure they’re off the street.”