Greetings from the 104th Precinct! First, let me introduce myself; my name is Captain Karam Chowdhury, and I am the 104th Precinct’s Commanding Officer. I started my career as an NYPD Police Officer here in 2006, and I recall walking several foot posts along the major corridors of our neighborhoods. I have worked throughout New York City with my assignments to the 48th Precinct, 9th Precinct, 108th Precinct, 114th Precinct and the Candidate Assessment Division. Although my eighteen-year career with the NYPD has taken me throughout most of the Boroughs, there is nothing quite like returning home. My unique experience has given me a thorough understanding of the specific concerns that most affect our communities and I intend to work hard to address these issues. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several members of the community and am thrilled to be working with such a supportive group of people.

In Maspeth, we have an increase of overall major crime by 36%. In Middle Village, we have seen an overall increase of about 14% for the year to date. Increases in both neighborhoods can be attributed to a rise in property crime. We ask that you continue spreading our crime prevention tips and alerting your neighbors of ongoing crime patterns.

We continue to see an increase of Grand Larceny in Maspeth and Middle Village. Not only are we dealing with these difficulties in the 104, but they are becoming more common around the city. This rise in crime is due to the continuing proliferation of telephone and online scams. Scammers have devised many schemes to defraud you over the phone. In some scams, they appear polite and helpful. Others make threats or attempt to threaten you with arrest. They will do whatever it takes to obtain your money or personal information in order to commit identity theft. Examples of these scams include, but are not limited to, law enforcement impersonator scams, charity scams, and investment scams. Scammers can often “spoof” their phone numbers, meaning that they can utilize different application to make their phone number to appear as something else on caller ID. Never give any personal or banking information over the phone!

There has been a rise of theft regarding vehicles and vehicle parts in Middle Village and Maspeth, which is synonymous with the trend that we have throughout the precinct. Some auto theft is a crime of opportunity that can be avoided if proper safeguards are taken. As we have previously stated, do not leave your keys or key fobs in the vehicle, especially if the vehicle is running. We also advise in the investment of vehicle anti-theft devices such as a steering wheel locks and handbrake to gearstick locks. There has also been a consistent increase in rim and tire thefts in our areas. When parking is available, we recommend finding a location that is well-lit and traveled. Please call 911 if you observe or hear strange behavior with a vehicle, especially in the late evening or early morning hours.

It is only in partnership with the community that we will achieve our common goals of public safety. I look forward to continuing the great tradition of community policing in the 104th Precinct. As always, please feel free to write or call the precinct with any issues you may have. I hope to meet everyone in person at the next Juniper Park Civic Association meeting.