“What a response!” said Robert Kuzler, a 40-year resident of 73rd Street near 57th Avenue.
Around noon Thursday, police responded to a 911 call describing a suspicious male that was seen on the block. Within minutes, police cruisers, paddy wagons, and even a helicopter were on the scene. Officers promptly conducted a complete search of the surrounding area, but the man was nowhere to be found.
According to Kuzler, the increasing number of robberies in the area is an entirely new phenomenon.
“When you’re here for 40 years you see the neighborhood change, and it’s not for the better,” said Kuzler, who couldn’t recall any past string of robberies that would compare to the current one.
“The neighborhood is changing,” said Rose Chiaino, 66, who has lived on 73rd Street since she was 12. Chiaino said she’s heard about recent burglaries in the area from other residents, and has kept her guard up as of late.
According to Kuzler, the spring is prime time for people to get ripped off. Open and unlocked windows give crooks just the edge they need to pull off a robbery.
“People of the neighborhood should beware,” warned Kuzler.
At a Maspeth town hall meeting in February, Detective Inspector Keith Green of the 104th Precinct addressed the crime increase in the Maspeth area.
“If you see someone on your block that is suspicious, call 911,” he said last month. “That's what we need you to do." ()