*** Update from the Commander ***

Greetings to the members of Juniper Park Civic Association. We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It has been a busy season here in the 104th Precinct and your 104 police officers have been working hard to keep the community safe and address quality-of-life issues.

For the entirety of the Precinct, we have seen an index crime increase of 3% for the 2023 year as of August 6 compared to this time in 2022. However, that 3% has fallen from 12% during the first part of the year and we are heading in the right direction. Regarding Middle Village and Maspeth specifically, there is an increase of 10% and 6% respectively.

The driving crime in the 104th Precinct (and the City) is Grand Larceny of Autos (vehicle theft). We urge everyone to turn their car off before running into the store, do not leave the car running with the keys/fob inside, park in a well-lit area, utilize a garage or driveway (if possible), do not leave valuables inside your vehicle and never leave the keys/fob inside your vehicle unattended (even if hidden). We also recommend investing in a tracking device to place inside your vehicle so that in the event of an auto theft we would be able to track and locate your vehicle. When home or on the go, store your keyless fob in a signal blocking box or bag as thieves have been known to intercept and copy these device signals to steal vehicles.

Along with auto theft, vehicles are used in a variety of illegal ways from the reckless operation of motorbikes to fraudulent license plates to individuals using vehicles in the commission of crimes. As a result, the 104th Precinct focuses on illegal vehicle enforcement which includes towing operations, motorbike confiscations, and other traffic violation vehicle stops. Each time we stop a car or motorbike there is a probability that a vehicle might be stolen. We have issued over 4,500 traffic violation tickets, and effected over 100 arrests related to fraudulent, fake and stolen license plates.

Shoplifting remains a concerning problem and although the 104th Precinct is currently down 26% for the year compared to 2022 in shoplifting, it is still a major problem. We’ve made 77 shoplifting arrests, 29 of these 77 arrestees have been arrested two or more times in NYC and 19 of these arrestees have been arrested two or more times within the 104th Precinct.

Our Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) recently began conducting larceny operations with local retailers in order to make live shoplifting arrests (meaning the NCOs are on scene at the time of the theft, avoiding 911 calls and response times).

Additionally, the 104th Precinct is participating in the Queens County Merchants Trespass Notice Program. Local merchants who participate in the program can revoke an individual’s authority from entering the store based on criminal and/or improper conduct, and the individual may be arrested for trespass if they do not comply.

As always, the 104th Precinct has made quality-of-life issues a priority throughout the summer, including loud noise, scooters & dirt bikes and various parking conditions. The 104th Precinct towed well over 300 vehicles from the streets to free up parking for those in the community, including vehicles with fraudulent paper plates, unregistered cars and other derelict vehicles. Along with removing vehicles, we have issued nearly 6,000 parking tickets.

Regarding loud noise/music complaints – we set the tone from the outset of the summer resulting in the seizure of numerous large stereos and speakers stemming from the car meets at Highland Park and the industrial area around Maspeth Avenue. Our stereo speaker confiscations include five vehicles that had massive sound reproduction devices welded to the rooftops of the vehicles. We informed the violators that the behavior disrupts the neighborhoods of the 104th Precinct and would not be tolerated. When a protest was organized denouncing our enforcement actions in front of the 104th Precinct, we informed the demonstrators that we would continue to seize speakers. Since these enforcement actions were taken by the 104th Precinct, we have noticed a significant decrease in these types of noise complaints compared to last summer and we hope you have as well.

Finally, the confiscation of illegal motorbikes remains a priority at the 104th Precinct, for illegal motorbikes are often used in the commission of crimes and create public safety hazards. The 104th Precinct has confiscated 225 scooters/dirt bikes and we have issued over 700 tickets to motorbike-riding motorists, this includes recent motorbike enforcement around the vicinity of Juniper Valley Park. Not only do we conduct street enforcement on motorbike operators, but we have conducted multiple operations inside the shops that sell these vehicles to ensure they are in full compliance with the law and are not selling illegal bikes.

We would like to thank the Juniper Park Civic Association for their sponsorship and support for our National Night Out Against Crime. As always, we had a massive turnout at the 104th Precinct. As we say all the time, Community and Policing go hand in hand, and here in the 104th Precinct, that is clearly the case. We cannot do what we do without the continued support and assistance of the community and we thank you for that. We hope everyone enjoys the remainder of the summer.