Robbers looking for ‘easy targets’ in Corona and Elmhurst, 110th Precinct boss warns residents

Photo via NYPD CompStat 2.0

Property theft is driving crime upward in the 110th Precinct, the force’s commanding officer reported during the May 110th Precinct Community Council meeting.

Captain Nicola Ventre reported on May 10 an increase in reports of robberies, grand larcenies and car theft in Corona and Elmhurst. Community members at the meeting also noted an uptick in gang violence in the surrounding areas.

According to statistics from the New York Police Department, robberies increased 33.3 percent from 2017 to the present. From April 30 to May 6, there were 12 reported robberies in the confines of the precinct.

“Be aware of your surroundings; perps are looking for easy targets,” warned Ventre, adding that robbers are particularly targeting inebriated individuals leaving local bars or those who use their cellphones while walking on the sidewalk. He added that people should be particularly vigilant between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m., the timeframe when most of the robberies have occurred.

Ventre noted that grand larcenies in the form of extortion phone calls were also on the rise. According to NYPD statistics, grand larcenies went up in the 110th from four reported in 2017 to 11 in 2018, year to date.

He warned residents of the most common scams, which included people impersonating the IRS, family members or the Chinese embassy, which the precinct posted about on their Twitter account. Ventre advised that people should never give money over the phone.

Residents in attendance complained that there has been an increase in gang violence in the neighborhood, particularly near 103rd Street and Alstyne Avenue and in the nearby parks. Back in March, QNS.com reported a deadly shooting in the confines of the 110th that may have been connected to gang activity.

Ventre directed residents to an interactive crime map called the NYPD CompStat 2.0, which shows the most recent criminal activity within the precinct. Users are able to see the exact location of specific crimes in their neighborhoods on a weekly basis.

Councilman Francisco Moya spoke about how Corona has felt the effect of the Department of Transportation’s Clear Curbs initiative. On Wednesday, May 9, businesses that are members of the 82nd Street partnership in Jackson Heights held a rally to voice their dissatisfaction with the pilot program. Neighborhoods in the vicinity of the 110th precinct on Roosevelt Avenue have suffered due to Clear Curbs.

“We are looking to have the plan changed. Sixty percent of business in the area are feeling the crunch,” Councilman Moya said. He added that there was had been no consultation with the community prior to DOT instating the Clear Curbs initiative and that they had to be “held accountable.”