June 27, 2014 By Michael Florio
Motorcyclists and bicyclists better guard their wheels as many of them are being stolen, according to the commanding officer at Astoria’s 114th Police Precinct.
This year there have been 93 stolen vehicles, with 17 of those being motor cycles. The number of motor cycles that have been stolen is up significantly compared to the past.
Deputy Inspector Kevin Maloney, of the 114th Precinct, said that many of the bikes are being stolen over night. The criminals typically clip the lock or chain and throw the motorcycle into the back of a van or simply drive off on them, he said.
Maloney believes that many of them are being taken to chop-shops and then sold for parts, as none of the stolen bikes have been recovered.
“It is a lot more profitable to sell a motorcycle in pieces, than it is as a whole,” Maloney said. “It is a difficult to catch someone in the act, but when we do it leads to bigger things.”
He warned residents to call 911 if they see anyone hanging around a motorcycle that clearly doesn’t belong to them. He said the citywide Auto Crime Division is currently conducting an investigation in Northern Queens seeking auto and motorcycle thieves.
Burglaries, which were a problem for the precinct earlier this year, have undergone a modest increase in the past month. Furthermore, thieves have changed their focus. Instead of climbing into apartments through fire escapes, thieves are now breaking into garages.
Maloney said they are targeting high-end bicycles. In some instances the bicycles are being stolen from bike racks in apartment building garages. The bikes can cost up to $1,200 and several have been stolen during one incident.