Package thieves and carjackings: 104th Precinct shares info on eventful month in Greater Ridgewood

Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS

The 104th Precinct has had success in stopping numerous larcenies in December across Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, the force’s commander reported during the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday night in Middle Village.

Deputy Inspector John Mastronardi encouraged residents to be “nosy neighbors” in order to protect one another from various forms of theft and take note of details such as license plate numbers if they see anything suspicious.

“Know your neighbors’ routines, because ’tis the season. ‘Tis the season for package theft, robberies and burglaries,” Mastronardi said.

George Abel was arrested and charged for stealing packages throughout the Maspeth area. He was seen on a homeowner’s surveillance camera making the rounds down residential streets and the footage was given over to Councilman Robert Holden who worked with the 104th Precinct to see that Abel was arrested for his alleged involvement.

A vehicle stolen on 69th Street in recent weeks was tracked by a license plate reader to a location in Brooklyn where the NYPD was able to make an arrest while the alleged perp was sitting in the car, according to 104th Precinct officers.

Holden said his office is still working with the city to get a new facility for the 104th Precinct, which has been in the same building in Ridgewood since 1925. The number of staff has grown exponentially in that amount of time.

Originally meant to hold about 80 officers, the building at 64-02 Catalpa Ave. now sees about 200 officers and vehicles circulating in and out of the location, Holden said.

The precinct has become increasingly dilapidated over time, according to Holden.

“My goal is to get a brand-new, state-of-the-art precinct,” Holden said. “A lot of the officers have desks in the basement with no windows. I’ve been told they can’t even stand up because they hit their head on the ceiling.”

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