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Car thieves have been driving up crime rates in the 104th Precinct.

The commander of the 114th Precinct warned Astoria residents to make sure that all valuable items were removed from their cars as grand larcenies have gone slightly up for the month.

“The number one crime in the 114th is grand larceny,” Captain Peter Fortune said at a 114th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday night in Astoria. “It’s what we’ve been plagued with all year and it just continues.”

There were six more grand larcenies in the precinct from Sept. 26 through Oct. 23 than the previous month, he said. Most of these crimes were identity theft and car-related thefts. According to Fortune, 13 of the 14 grand larcenies this month included electronics, laptops, radios, navigation systems and wallets.

“We can’t leave our electronics, we can’t leave our wallets unattended in the car, particularly when it’s unlocked,” he said. “It just gives these thieves too easy of picking to go out and take stuff.”

He also added that with the holiday season coming up, shoppers should not store items in their car unless it’s in the trunk.

On Oct. 18, the 114th Precinct arrested a repeat offender on 38th Avenue. According to Fortune, he had approximately 40 other arrests and most of them were for breaking into cars.

“This gentleman, believe it or not, just drives around on a bicycle and breaks into cars,” Fortune said.

Since the arrest, there has only been one grand larceny reported.

The precinct is down 4.5 percent in burglaries, 32 percent in stolen cars and 26 percent in felony assaults.

Robberies are up this month, Fortune said, but the uptick is mostly attributed to several robbery patterns. On Oct. 7, two men in green and red goblin masks tried to break into a home on 32nd Street and 30th Avenue and, 20 minutes later, tried to take money from a Holiday Inn at 39-05 29th St.

They were unsuccessful in taking anything from both places, but because of their robbery attempt on the home, police uncovered 5 pounds of marijuana. Officers believe that attempt was narcotics related but are not sure why they attempted to rob the Holiday Inn.

There were two shootings in the precinct – on Oct. 13 and Oct. 15 – but no fatalities. The first shooting occurred at the Astoria Houses at 2-06 Astoria Blvd. A 24-year-old man was shot in the leg and the investigation is ongoing.

On Oct. 15, a man shot into the window of Fatima Grocery Deli at 21-37 21st Ave. According to Fortune, it was a drug deal gone bad and cops are targeting two individuals who were involved.

Fortune also awarded Cop of the Month honors to officers Christina McDonald and Dwight Wanzer, who were responsible for arresting a man who, along with two others, posed as a cop and robbed six cab drivers in one month.

“For their persistence, keen observation and investigative skill we recognize officers McDonald and Wanzer as our September cops of the month,” he said.

Photo by Angela Matua/QNS

Photo by Angela Matua/QNS



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