March 27, 2013, By Christian Murray
Purse snatchers and cell phone thieves who target No. 7 train subway riders better be on guard, according to police.
The police have stepped up their presence on all subways within Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City following a wave of transit crime in 2012.
Captain Mike Telfert, who is in charge of the initiative and spoke at the 108 police precinct meeting Tuesday, said that 28 additional transit cops have been assigned to these three neighborhoods—focusing heavily on the No. 7 line.
There will be 28 additional transit cops working the subway by day and 28 additional cops by night. In addition there are 8 cops from the Anti Terrorism Unit, which will act more in a transit police-type role, as well as a canine cop policing the subways.
Telfert said on a Queens-wide (excluding the Rockaways) basis there are 124 transit cops dedicated to about 9 precincts. These additional cops will give a big boost to coverage in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.
Telfert said that the police are working in a zone where there are no video-surveillance cameras, since the MTA, which is in charge of their installation, has not erected them at any of the 15 stations in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.
Since the new initiative went into place, Captain Donald Powers, the commander of police precinct 108, said that there have been 221 transit arrests in the precinct so far this year, compared to 142 compared to the same period last year.
Telfert said the transit crime hotspots have been at the 46th and 52nd Street subway stations on the No. 7 line and the 23rd St/Ely station on the E/M lines.