Representatives from the 110th, 104th and 108th Precincts attended a Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) meeting on Monday night to update residents on crimes in the area since January 1.
Captain Michael Cody of the 104th Precinct, which covers Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth, said six out of the 28 robberies in the last month targeted banks.
The most recent involved a Chase Manhattan bank on Saturday afternoon, in which a male in his 30s passed a note to a teller demanding cash, Cody said, but further inquiries to police spokespeople turned up no additional information.
Other bank robberies involved a “very short” white or Hispanic male, also passing notes to tellers, Cody said. The precinct is also having a problem with thefts involving scrap metal, since the industry is suffering right now, he said.
“If you see the guys going around with the shopping carts,” Cody said, “with the bare metal, please give us a call.”
The areas are also experiencing a real estate scam, involving a man putting ads on Craigslist offering properties for rent, but after respondents hand over a cash deposit, the man disappears.
Cody said detectives are investigating the scam and have a few leads.
“If it sounds to good to be true,” he said, regarding property rentals, “don't get into it.”
An officer from the 108th Precinct said Sunnyside experienced one rape and 10 robberies since the start of January.
The robberies often include people breaking into houses through the back door or via balconies and removing property such as computers and jewelry.
“If you see someone walking around on the street with a laptop, no bag or anything, make a call,” the officer said.
He also tipped that the precinct's traffic initiative this week will target drivers chatting on their cell phones.
The 110th Precinct's new Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson introduced himself at the meeting.
Although Leyson had to leave early to attend another engagement, he said he will regularly attend future COMET meetings.
“I'll be here to give you updates on what's going on in your community,” he said.
The 110th Precinct, which covers Corona and Elmhurst, is split up into two sections: “Boy” between the Long Island Railroad train station and Grand Avenue, and the Long Island Expressway (LIE) and Broadway; and “Charlie” between Grand Avenue and Horace Harding, and the LIE and Queens Boulevard.
Since January 1, Boy experienced four felony assaults, two stolen cars, one grand larceny and two robberies, Detective Richard Garland said at the meeting.
Charlie had two burglaries, one robbery, and six grand larcenies, several of which involved the Craigslist rent scams.
The precinct also has a problem with a Con Edison scam, he said, involving men visiting homes claiming to be service workers and then robbing residents.
“Con Ed does not come to your house without an appointment,” Garland said, “so do not be afraid to close the door in their face and make them identify themselves.”
In addition, he said Con Ed puts out notices announcing when they will visit a house.
“If that happens, do not hesitate to call 911,” he said of unannounced visits.
Officers from all three precincts at the meeting said that residents should call 911, rather than the precincts themselves, at the sign of an emergency.