Saturday, February 25, 2012


The 66 Precinct Community Council Meeting, Thurs. February 16

Here are the main points the NYPD 66 Precinct commander, Deputy Inspector John J. Sprague, made at its Community Council meeting:

1. Crime Stats are flat. What’s trending are robberies of electronic devices, mainly by juveniles. Targeting people going to and from subway, buses, or stores, these kids often attack from behind, blindsiding their victims and forestalling useful perp identifications. Instead, the 66 is forced to rely on store surveillance videos.

2. Protecting Your Electronic Gadgets Be sure to activate the “Find my phone” app in your Iphone. (It also works on Ipad or Mac laptops—a 5-minute download.) With it, police are able to track a missing phone and return it. In one case, “Find my phone,” which is only on the most recent models, led the 66 to a Queens’ house party, where it was able to arrest 4 people with a phone lifted in the 66 Precinct. The robbers were dumbfounded at the 66’s arrival, D.I. Sprague said. He also recommended keeping a record of your cell phone’s IMEI number, its serial number. (Check the web for info on how to locate it.)

3. Scam Alerts Con artists are staking out the elderly who often have a hard time identifying their scammers. One 90 -year-old woman, however, was able to i.d. a woman burglar, who was subsequently arrested. Sprague suggested installing a video hookup in the home to aid seniors.

Deception Burglaries and another—slicker—con are happening here in Kensington —and citywide.

DECEPTION BURGLARY The burglar gains entry by posing as an employee of a well-known company, for example, Con Ed., DEP, Fed Ex, or others. When “reps” appear at the door, demand to see their official ID, whether slipped under the locked front door or through the mail slot. Better yet, check out the “employees” by calling their company or 911. (To verify a Con Ed employee, call (800) 752–6633; for DEP i.d., call (718) 595–7000)

PHONE-CALL SCAM Here the targeted senior receives a call from a foreign country where the caller, claiming he’s “a grandson, a nephew,” etc., asks that large sums of money be wired to rescue him from a calamity. See Crime Stats, Wed. Jan 18 Grand Larceny on Dahill Rd. Don’t be hasty. Check with your relative first at his home number. One man wired $14,000 to his “grandson,” supposedly arrested in Peru. As it turned out, the grandson was here at home in Brooklyn all along.

4. January Cop of the Month, awarded to Officer Mary Ball, a veteran of the 66. According to Sprague, burglaries are one of the hardest crimes to solve because there are no witnesses. Still, thanks to Officer Ball’s quick response, she and her partner were able to capture 3.

5. Coney Island Avenue Jam Up After more than a year of mumbling and complaints on the local blogs about the Coney Island Avenue car repair shops using CIA as their front yard, an upright citizen appeared at the meeting to complain. The repair shops double park their cars, hogging access, blocking traffic, especially the turn from Cortelyou to CIA.

D.I. Sprague explained that the 66 does do sweeps along that strip (from Cortelyou to Church), but many of those cars have no license plates, preventing the police from issuing summons.  A discussion of alternative strategies ensued.  Expect to see the 66 take a more aggressive approach.

6. Citizens’ Police Academy For registration, call  66 Pct Community Affairs at (718) 851–5601. The 14-week program offers interested citizens an introduction to police procedures.  Classes meet once a week for 14 weeks, starting in March at the Police Academy on Manhattan’s east side.

Next meeting:  Thurs., March 15 @ 7:30, CB 12’s offices.

Call Precinct to double check: (718) 851-5611, operator