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Crime Jumps In Astoria as NYPD tackles robbery patterns

A string of robberies hit stores along Broadway

A string of robberies hit stores along Broadway

March 23, 2016 By Michael Florio

A spate of recent robberies has driven up the crime rate in Astoria’s 114 Precinct.

The crime rate is up nearly 44 percent for the 28-day period ending March 20, compared to the same 28-day period in 2015. Felony assaults and grand larcenies have also contributed to the increase.

There have been 29 robberies in Astoria over the past month, compared to 16 during the same period in 2015 – an increase of 81 percent – according to the 114 Precinct.

The sharp rise is due to a handful of robbery patterns.

“There are six active robbery patterns,” Captain Peter Fortune, Commanding Officer of the 114 Precinct, said Tuesday night at a community meeting. “I have never seen this many before [in the precinct].”

One pattern involves a suspect who has been jumping over store counters and simulating a firearm while wearing a mask, Fortune said. He has struck five times, four in the 114 Precinct and once in the 112 Precinct, which covers Forest Hills and adjoining neighborhoods.

The man, however, was arrested on March 10 and is being held on $175,000 bail. This comes after pleading guilty to two robberies in Manhattan on March 4.

Another man has been robbing banks in the 114 Precinct and other precincts in Queens. Fortune described the suspect as 6-feet-tall with a slim build and neatly groomed mustache and beard.

He hit the Astoria Bank branch at 37-16 30th Ave. on March 4, Fortune said.

Meanwhile three men have been targeting stores in the area. Two of the men typically jump over a counter, display a firearm and take off with cash. A third man is the pickup driver who rides a 2015 Chevy Malibu.

The crew recently held up a 7-Eleven located at 50-92 Northern Blvd.

Police have issued wanted posters of the perpetrators.

At a community meeting in February, Fortune discussed a pattern of store robberies on Broadway between 29th and 21st Street. The suspect was identified as a white male.

Since the meeting the suspect has been identified and is living in a rehabilitation facility.

Police would not reveal his identity.

“We are confident when he gets out we will grab him,” Fortune said.

The Captain said that there are plans in place to “target these patterns that are driving these crimes.”

“I’m confident once we close these patterns the numbers will go down,” he added.

However, there have been 34 felony assaults during the 28-day period ending March 20, compared to just 14 for the same period in 2015. Of those 34 incidents, 23 have been closed with an arrest.

Grand larceny is up 58 percent, with 68 incidents during the 28-day period compared to 43 in 2015.

“We have had 20 incidents of people leaving their items unattended and thieves coming along and stealing them,” Fortune said last night. “Whether it be a backpack, credit card, or phone, don’t leave it unattended.”

Additionally, he said five motorized bicycles/scooters have been stolen during this period. He said this is a new phenomenon, and there is no specific area where they are being targeted.

Fortune’s goal is to lower these numbers, he said last night.

“We have got to get better,” he said.

 

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25 Comments

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Midtowngal

The problem is not rainbow flags or the Midwest, in fact that demographic is saving Astoria. The real problem is we do not have enough police and the ones we do have their hands tied. Remember Stop And Frisk? Crime has gone up a lot in NYC since we don’t have it. Bring it back and let’s have some cops walking the neighborhood.

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heidi

“There have been 29 robberies in Astoria over the past month.” You would of thought they would add foot patrol and alert the community a little sooner…

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Jake

I want things to be the way there were in the 1950’s. Kids obey parents and respect their elders and respect the law and respect their neighbors. We should emulate Japan who still instill pride and education in their children. No to chaos and disorder! Yes to Trump!

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Old Astorian

I agree with the sentiment about Japan, but that is pretty antithetical to what Dump wants to do.

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ted

It does not matter who lives or visits the area. If there is a lack of a police presence in a highly populated area things like this are bound to happen.

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asto

I am not surprised by these statistics at all. With guests at all the nearby homeless shelters and so many people living and visiting Astoria for the restaurants and shops it is hard to tell who is up to no good. Unity has gone down the drain and has made us oblivious to our surroundings with all these developments and shops. More is to come with affordable housing and this mayor.

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Dirty_Rotten

Keep waving those Rainbow flags and inviting creepy Hipsters from the mid-west into the area and this is what you get.

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Taho Parei

Also i agree with you, there is a big responsibility of local real estate offices as well.

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brando

So Realtors are bringing criminals? Most offices do background checks (past residences, work experience, pay stubs, etc) and check credit scores. Those who have a clean background and good credit scare are less likely to be a nuisance for the landlords that are raising the rents. You make no sense!

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Anonymous

most of these scumbag agents only wanna collect their fee . they don’t give a flying F about the landlords or the community . trust me i deal with these scumbags all the time . garbage . background check , LMFAO . they bring people to properties without even meeting them in person at their office and prequalifying them or getting a photo i.d. disgusting and unprofessional !!!!

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happyowner

Then your dealing with the wrong people. There are plenty of excellent real estate agencies and realtors in the neighborhood. It is up to the landlord to do his homework. I ask for copying of their applications and credit checks. Make reference calls etc. However, if the landlords do not care then chances are neither will some realtors.

tanya

I am not a crime analysts however, I believe that “Rainbow flags” and “Hipsters” have nothing to do with crime in Astoria. Unless you are trying to say that they might be easy targets. Many criminals go to places that they view as easy targets and get a ways. Lack of police presence, proximity to transportation and poverty and a neighborhoods response to crimes all play a bigger role.

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Pete

*%&@! homophobic creep. Do you think transplants, gaoy or straight are the folks responsible for these types of crimes? I for one invite all of the transplants, they’re raising my property value beyond comprehension.

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AC

So what do we do? Just let the people of Astoria populate amongst themselves and don’t have anyone else come to the neighborhood?

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John

You’re making some backwards, 1980’s homophobic comment and then calling people from the mid-west creepy?

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utah

If these new developments that are drawing in newcomers were affordable and run down and were attracting poverty and crime then you would have a point. But that is not the case. People paying 1800-2500 for a one bedroom in Astoria are not committing these crimes.

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dancinqueen

Xenophobe! I’ll wave it wherever i like. I can marry now and the laws are on my side. Looking forward to my bright future in Astoria. Love you all!

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sonisgay

Thanks to social media the younger generation is more accepting of differences in our community. This is NYC and you and your views are of a small minority which will be quickly shunned and shut down if ever voiced out in public where it matters.

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The Councilman

Psh, crime? Whatever. There’s more important things to do, like create bike lanes.

Reply

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