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Criminals continue to break into cars in Astoria, Cops recommend residents take valuables out of vehicles

Oct. 27, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

This past month saw an uptick in robberies and grand larcenies, but a drop in every other crime category.

At the 114th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday night Captain Peter Fortune told residents of the increase in grand larcenies, particularly items stolen from vehicles, and reminded attendees not to leave valuables in their vehicles.

“It’s what we’ve been plagued with all year and it just continues,” Fortune said. He said that the two major categories of grand larceny in the precinct have recently dealt with auto-related theft and identity theft.

The 14 incidences of grand larceny this month marked an increase of six from last month, and 13 of the incidents involved the theft of electronics and wallets. Many victims had items stolen from their cars.

“We can’t leave our electronics, we can’t leave our wallets unattended in the car, particularly when it’s unlocked and it just gives these thieves too easy of a picking to go out and take these things,” Fortune said.

Fortune reminded residents to be careful of leaving shopping bags and valuables in plain sight in their vehicles, especially with the holiday season approaching.

He added that on October 14, police arrested one of the perpetrators involved in vehicle break-ins. The suspect is an older man, Fortune said, with over 40 arrests who rides around the neighborhood on a bicycle breaking in to cars, according to Fortune.

There was also an increase in robberies this month, though Fortune attributed that primarily to several robbery patterns.

One pattern Fortune described involved two men who attempted to rob two locations within 20 minutes of one another while wearing goblin masks.

The first break-in was at a home at 30th Avenue and 32nd Street and the second at the Holiday Inn at 39-05 29th Street.

Neither robbery was successful, though when police arrived at the first location they discovered over five pounds of marijuana and subsequently executed a search warrant at that location, Fortune said. Both break-ins are still under investigation.

He said that burglaries were down in the 114th Precinct by 4.5 percent for the past 28-days compared to the same time frame in 2015. Meanwhile, felony assaults are down by 26 percent, and stolen cars are down by 32 percent over that same period.

There were two shootings in the period of September 26 to October 23, though neither was fatal.

On October 13, a 24-year-old man was shot in the leg at the Astoria Houses, and the investigation is still ongoing.

On October 15 there were shots fired in to the window of Fatima Grocery Deli at 21-37 21st Avenue in an alleged gun deal gone wrong, and Fortune said that the cops are targeting two suspects.

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In the early morning, there are men who ride bycycles around the residential blocks, casually peering into cars for opportunities to break in to them and score items inside. Dont leave valuables or items that appear to be valuables in your car, nor change in the console.


These are professionals!!! No hobos!! Broke into my locked 2016 car ridiculous!! Take your valubles out secure your car! The precint needs to patrol more in ALL of astoria not just where all the comotion occurs.


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