ANY BAD NEWS?
Yes. On Metropolitan Avenue, on the 7400 block, there have been a series of break-ins of stores with merchandise and cash stolen, as well as damage to the store.
The officers of the 104th Precinct are completely aware of the incidents and have stepped up surveillance and patrols on the location. This column refrains from supplying any useful information to perpetrators, so, will not provide any addresses, dates, or times of these break-ins.
Neighbors in the vicinity, both residential and other merchants, are fully aware of the incidents and need to follow the advice of police officials regarding security improvements such as lighting, alarms, gates, fences, cameras, and, as one merchant believes, a dog or two inside and outside the store.
The precinct has asked for help from anyone who can offer information that leads to arrests of the perpetrators.
As the signs on the subway system repeat: See something? Say something.
When these thieves are convinced that they are smarter than the police, they will start entering homes in the neighborhood. Those will be your homes.
ANY OTHER BAD NEWS?
Yes. Since September there have been another – unrelated to the above – string of burglaries of Beauty and Nail Salons plus a Barber Shop, occurring after closing and before the next day’s opening, in shops scattered throughout the 104th Precinct. In one burglary, a witness observed a male black, 6’0’’ with brown eyes, with black, short straight hair and with a medium complexion.
And, there is a carload of young people in a green Mitsubishi who appear to be driving around the community, shooting “paint balls” at unsuspecting victims. Just recently, at a shop on Metropolitan Avenue, the car pulled up after dark, and fired a number of “paint balls” into the inside, just missing some customers. It turns out that the same store’s proprietor’s father had an eye shot out in a paint ball attack nearly eight years ago.
Make no mistake. These guns are dangerous. This man spent $35,000 of his own money to provide medical care for his injured father.
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 RELIEF IN SIGHT?
Yes. There are increased patrols for each high-crime location. Metropolitan Avenue also has two officers walking foot patrols during shopping hours.
Furthermore, there are now 13 holiday foot patrols throughout the Precinct to watch the various stores and shoppers. And, Operation Impact has been implemented on Metropolitan Ave for the last eight weeks.
Yes. Here are several shopping tips:
Before you leave home, verify that you have only the cash and credit cards you need;
Don’t carry all your keys plus your identification;
Leave at home a file containing all your credit card account numbers, checking account numbers and all other references you may need if these valuables are lost;
Have your cell phone with you, fully charged;
Walk in well lit areas;
Walk and shop with friends; a group is safer than being alone;
Stay away from the curb – there can be purse-snatchers at the window of parked cars;
Don’t carry large amounts of cash;
Don’t carry all your credit cards;
Never take your eyes off your credit card when paying;
After payment with a credit card, verify that the credit card returned to you is, indeed, your own;
Count your shopping bags; keep them in sight always;
Ask for your shopping bags to be stapled shut; make it difficult for pickpockets;
Forgot where you parked? Ask store security for help; If required, call a friend;
Carry only a purse that you can sling across your body;
Carry only a purse with a strong handle (strap) and one that cannot be easily opened as you walk or stand in a line;
Always know where you are;
Someone makes you suspicious? Enter the nearest well-lit store with a number of people inside;
Someone makes you seriously suspicious? Do the same as above and then phone 911.
Your family and friends want you to come home safely. Don’t let them down.
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 resident 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 CAPTAIN GREEN?
If you would like to talk to Captain 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 Captain of incidents and problems in your neighborhood.
Also, you can e-mail the Captain at firstname.lastname@example.org. For USPS Mail, write the captain at:
64-02 Catalpa Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385-5257.
Do you have questions or comments for Captain Green that you want published in the next issue of this column? Just e-mail us or write to 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 Captain Green and publish his reply in the next issue.