ANY GOOD NEWS?
Yes. Captain Keith Green has been promoted to Deputy Inspector.
Visit the next COP104 meeting to congratulate Inspector Green as well as exchange comments with him and his staff.
ANY BAD NEWS?
Yes. In our previous issue, we reported a number of repeated break-ins on Metropolitan Avenue just beyond 74th Street.
Now, we must report break-ins on Eliot Ave near 85th Street. At approximately 3:30AM one morning, a prowler was spotted pacing back and forth on the sidewalk in front of several stores. The neighbor phoned 911. The officers in the responding patrol car saw the man attempting to use bolt cutters to open the gate to a dry cleaning business.
The intruder saw the police and ran, dropping the bolt cutters. We hope there are fingerprints and they can be matched so the burglar is caught.
There was also entry into the businesses from the rear courtyard or parking lot. Some cash was taken. So, that indicates that there were at least two intruders ‒ perhaps more. Police recovered a vehicle believed to belong to the intruders. Hopefully, there will be a good collection of fingerprints leading to the perpetrators.
As bad as this was, there is some good news: The police from the 104th responded immediately. To chase the burglar, the 104th requested help from the 112th Precinct, who responded. Additionally, a helicopter was requested and responded.
Thanks and congratulations to the neighbors who first observed and acted. Also thanks and congratulations to the officers of the 104th and 112th Precincts for the rapid and professional response.
ANY OTHER BAD NEWS?
Yes. At the January COP104 meeting, a very nice lady, a neighbor, told the Deputy Inspector and us a very troubling story of two well dressed and well-behaved men who rang her bell on the pretense of needing to inspect some part of her garage.
Well, by now, you've guessed the rest. Yes, the nice, trusting lady believed that she could believe the men, so she accompanied one to the garage, where he lingered long enough for his partner to take all her treasures.
The police call this an impostor invasion.
Trust no stranger. Let no stranger enter your home, or onto your property. You have no obligation at all to any stranger.
If a legitimate visitor is a stranger to you, he or she will have no trouble when you ask for photo ID. Or, you man phone the employer to verify the need for this stranger to enter. Never phone the number given to you by the stranger; he or she may have you call a partner.
Do you still have doubts? Phone 911. If the stranger is OK, and can produce ID to satisfy the police (who may phone the employer), then you are safe.
Above all, do not argue with any stranger at your door. Simply close the door and make your call. The odds are that the stranger is up to no good, he or she will just disappear quietly. For someone with legitimate purpose in visiting you, waiting for your verification is a normal event.
Maspeth florist Tony Nunziato, has attended nearly all COP104 meetings and spoke up to tell Inspector Green about conditions of police interest in Maspeth. Maspeth merchants along Grand Avenue are victims of break-ins and vandalism. Overweight trucks are another constant problem that Tony has been actively trying to get corrected.
HOW ELSE DO PEOPLE WANT TO DO ME HARM?
There's the Jury Duty scam.
A person phones you, claiming to be a jury coordinator or official. The scam goes on to accuse you of skipping jury duty. You protest that you never received any jury summons (but, in the back of your mind, you are unsure.).
The scammer then demands your Social Security Number and Date of Birth so verification of sending you a summons can proceed.
Once again, you guessed the rest of the story! Once you supply your SSN and DOB, your identity has been stolen. The nightmare has only just begun! Skipping jury duty is now the least of your problems.
Just like letting strangers enter your home, NEVER give out identifying information to a stranger on the phone.
If you know something, say something. Phone the 104th Precinct with helpful information by dialing: 718-386-3004. Also see the inside back page for other phone numbers for the 104th Precinct.
ANY OTHER ADVICE?
Yes. If you observe a new graffiti vandalism attack, report it through 311.
If you observe a graffiti vandalism attack in progress, report it through 911. A graffiti attack is a felony.
Little known: if you observe graffiti on a bus shelter, report it through 311. There will be a shelter identification plate on the crossbar of the shelter. Usually, the printing is large enough to read without effort. Here in Queens, the shelter ID number will start with the letters: QB. Describe the nature of the graffiti to the 311 operator. The operator may also ask for an address. Difficult as that may be to provide, do your best. Perhaps you can use an address from across the street, or up the block, or the intersection.
I WOULD LIKE TO DO MORE. ANY SUGGESTIONS?
Yes. Attend the COP104 meetings, held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The locations for the meetings rotate throughout the Precinct so that all precinct residents have an opportunity at least several times each year to communicate with the Precinct Commander and various officers. All residents are always invited and welcome to attend any and all meetings throughout the year.
Are you interested in participating in civilian patrol of the community? Phone GCOP/104COP at 718-497-1500.
HOW CAN I CONTACT DEPUTY INSPECTOR GREEN?
If you would like to talk to Deputy Inspector Keith Green about any police matter or concerns you have in your neighborhood, feel free to attend a monthly COP104 meeting, held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at locations throughout the precinct. Look for posters announcing the next meeting and its location. These meetings are useful to learn more about your community, and for you and your neighbors to inform the Deputy Inspector of incidents and problems in your neighborhood.
Also, you can e-mail the Deputy Inspector at firstname.lastname@example.org. For USPS Mail, write the Deputy Inspector at: 64-02 Catalpa Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385-5257.
Do you have questions or comments for Deputy Inspector Green that you want published in the next issue of this column? Just e-mail: POLICEBEAT104@AOL.COM or write this column at: Police Beat 104, C/O Juniper Park Civic Association, P.O. Box 790275, Middle Village, NY 11379. We will keep your identity private if you request. If you request, we will forward your question or comment to Deputy Inspector Green and publish his reply in the next issue.