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Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.
Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.
Len Santoro, Officer Louis Marinacci, Captain John Mastronardi and Detective Anthony Wright, after Marinacci and Wright were awarded "Cop of the Month."

Two cops who recently collared a cash thief in Ridgewood were honored during the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

The precinct’s commander, Captain John Mastronardi, presented Police Officer Louis Marinacci and Detective Anthony Wright with “Cop of the Month” honors for their keen observations that led to the recovery of $20,000 in stolen cash on Nov. 2. Mastronardi said that he believes in giving the award not only for what his officers did that day, but for everything they do for him.

“Every time I ask them to do something, they’re very productive,” Mastronardi said. “They never ask a question, they go out and get arrests for me, and they drive the crime rate down wherever I send them.”

According to Mastronardi, the incident took place at approximately 10 a.m. on Nov. 2 at a residence on Madison Street near 60th Place. The two officers were on routine patrol when they observed a man with rubber gloves sticking out of his back pocket walking up to the building.

When the suspect knocked on the door, police said, an elderly gentleman answered and gave the individual a FedEx package from inside the residence. This didn’t sit right with the officers, so they approached the perpetrator and asked for his information.

The suspect then provided the officers with a fake name, Mastronardi said. At that point, one of the officers took the package and found the cash inside.

At first they thought it might have been a drug transaction, but a further investigation revealed that the suspect “scammed” the money from someone in California. Mastronardi said that the thief targeted the gentlemen who received the package because he is elderly.

Wright, a 13-year veteran of the department, and Marinacci, an 11-year veteran, are referred to as “Ernie and Bert” by Mastronardi. After presenting the awards, Mastronardi also revealed that it was Wright’s birthday, and the rest of the officers from the 104th Precinct approached singing “Happy Birthday” with a cake in hand.

Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.

Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.

During the meeting, Mastronardi reported crime is down 9.2 percent, and it’s down 21.7 percent over the past 28 days. He also discussed the addition of Neighborhood Coordination Officers to the 104th Precinct, which will allow for expanded patrol forces.

The NCO’s will be holding regular community meetings, as well as attending other civic group meetings, to respond directly to the community’s needs. They are expected to join the force by October 2018.

Len Santoro, the precinct council president, also announced that the Cop of the Year celebration, honoring Community Affairs Officer Charles Sadler, will be held on Jan. 25 at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are on sale for $75, and to sponsor an officer and receive two tickets the cost is $200.

For more details about ticket packages, contact the 104th Precinct community affairs office at 718-386-2431. Tickets should be purchased by Dec. 31.

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