Feb. 8, 2015 By Christian Murray
There was a significant drop in crime in the past month, although three stores on Vernon Blvd were burgled and several hybrid-vehicle batteries were stolen from cars parked near Center Blvd.
“We have a burglary condition with Vernon Blvd businesses,” said Capt John Travaglia, the commanding officer of the 108 Precinct, at the Community Board 2 monthly meeting Thursday. He said that three stores– including Petey’s Burger— were hit in the past two weeks.
Travaglia said that the perpetrators have been breaking through the front glass, walking toward the back of the store and taking cash from the register. He said the incidents have been occurring in the early hours– between 2 am and 3 am.
Travaglia said that the precinct has stepped up its coverage on Vernon Blvd to combat the problem.
“If you see extra patrol on Vernon that is why we are there,” Travaglia said.
These incidents follow a spate of Vernon Blvd break ins last year. Two Vernon Blvd bars/restaurants (Woodbines and Manducatis Rustica) were burgled, while attempts were made on—Vernon Wines & Liquors and LIC Bar.
Meanwhile, thieves have been stealing batteries from hybrid vehicles in the Hunters Point neighborhood.
Travaglia said there have been nine incidents reported in the past six weeks with most of them occurring near Center Blvd, by the Gantries.
He said that the perpetrator typically smashes a car window—waits five minutes to see if anyone noticed—and then goes back to the vehicle. The thief then opens the hood and “they have the battery out of the car in less than two to three minutes.”
He asked for residents to be on the lookout. “If you see anybody lurking around a car or things of that nature, you know, call us,” he said.
The level of crime, however, throughout the precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City– fell 26% for the 28-day period ending Feb. 5, compared to the same 28-day period a year ago. The number of reported rapes, robberies and burglaries all fell—with only an uptick in felony assaults. There have been no murders so far this year.
See statistics below for the 28-day period ending Jan. 25, 2015.