FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JUNE 8, 2017 • THE QUEENS COURIER 17 LIC-based cops warn about burglary spike BY ANGELA MATUA firstname.lastname@example.org / @AngelaMatua Th e 108th Precinct has seen a 5 percent decrease in crime since last year, but the precinct’s commander is warning residents to lock their car and house doors when they step out. Captain Ralph Forgione, commanding offi cer of the 108th Precinct, said during the May 30 meeting of the 108th Precinct Community Council in Sunnyside that the command has seen a spike in residential and commercial burglaries and attributes this increase to residents not taking enough precaution. Since last month, Forgione reported, crimes are down by 17 percent including in categories such as robbers, which are down 33 percent and grand larcenies, which saw a monthly decrease from 54 to 39. Th e neighborhood saw 10 burglaries versus six last month, and the 108th Precinct had a reported 20 more burglaries this month than the same time last year. “We’ve been struggling with burglaries all year round,” Forgione said. Many of the burglaries are taking place in Woodside, where the command borders the 110th and 115th precincts. Th ey’re also occurring within a small section of Maspeth. Th e 108th Precinct includes Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and a portion of Maspeth. Forgione added that a large portion of the burglaries occur when residents leave their homes and cars unlocked. He added that more than 50 percent of the auto theft s in the precinct are due to people leaving their car keys in the ignition when they pick up food or try to quickly get something from their homes before driving away. He said if residents “don’t want to be a statistic,” they should lock their doors and not store valuable items in their cars. Th e Cop of the Month award was given to Police Offi cer Hassan Raka, who arrested a man for grand theft auto on May 19. At about 4 a.m., someone called 911 to report that they had witnessed someone breaking into a car and stealing a wallet. Offi cer Raza was able to track down the witness, who was able to identify the perpetrator from a safe distance. Offi cers found a wallet, credit cards and a license on the person. Offi cer Raza was also able to call the person who owned the car and let them know that their possessions were stolen. Th e perpetrator was arrested two days prior for breaking into another car. “Why people leave their wallet and stuff in the car I don’t know,” Forgione said. “Th is is the perfect example why you don’t. Th e person who was locked up said, ‘I only break into cars that are unlocked.’” Forgione commended Raza for his “hard work and dedication” and said “he’s an asset to the unit.” Armed crook takes off with over $3,000 after robbing three gas stations in Queens BY EMILY DAVENPORT email@example.com @QNS Police are looking for a man who held up three gas stations over the course of four days in Ozone Park and South Ozone Park. According to police, at 5:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, an unknown man walked into a Conoco gas station located at 88-14 101st Ave. Th e man approached the 52-year-old employee, displayed a handgun and demanded money. Th e employee complied, giving the suspect $100 in cash. Th e suspect then fl ed the location westbound on 101st Ave. on foot. Less than two hours later, the suspect entered a Lukoil gas station located at 118-01 Rockaway Blvd. Th e suspect went to the 34-year-old employee and demanded money aft er displaying a handgun. Th e employee handed over $3,000 in cash and the suspect took of on foot northbound on 118th Street. Th e third incident took place on Tuesday, May 30. At 5:50 a.m., the suspect entered a Gulf gas station located at 133-44 150th St. Once inside, the suspect went up to the 42-year-old employee, displayed a handgun and demanded money. Th e employee complied and gave the suspect $400 in cash. Th e suspect then fl ed the store on foot northbound on North Conduit Avenue. Th e suspect is described as a black male. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and tan work boots. Anyone with information in regards to Photo via Google Maps, insets courtesy of the NYPD this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577- TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57- PISTA (74782). Th e public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers. com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confi dential. Cops bust credit card fraud ring in South Queens BY ROBERT POZARYCKI firstname.lastname@example.org / @robbpoz Eleven people have been charged this week for their alleged roles in a credit card fraud ring based in south Queens that prosecutors say is connected to a violent street gang, prosecutors announced on June 2. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said the suspects took stolen credit card information and embedded it onto phony Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards that were then used to purchase expensive, high-tech items and high-end cosmetics from stores across the tri-state area and the Eastern Seaboard. Th rough a lengthy investigation, police identifi ed Ramsey “Rambo” Sutton, 23, of Ronkonkoma, NY as the ring leader; he was identifi ed as a reputed member of the Mac Bellas, which Brown said is an off -shoot of the Bloods gang. In court-authorized wiretaps, Sutton was allegedly recorded informing his partners in the ring numerous times about the credit cards’ production. Th e forged cards were then provided to male and female shoppers associated with the theft ring, who then went out and purchased electronics including Apple iPads. Between October 2016 and February of this year, Brown said, the shoppers obtained more than $50,000 in cosmetics, gift cards and other items in visits to Sephora stores across New York, Connecticut, Virginia and Maryland. Law enforcement sources said the ring participants also used the fake cards to purchase more than $200,000 in merchandise from various Target and Best Buy stories in Long Island, Brooklyn, Staten Island and West Nyack, NY. Prosecutors said the forged cards were produced out of the Rosedale home of Jordan Clarke, 26, which also served as a warehouse where the ring’s shoppers dropped off their stolen loot, which was then distributed among the defendants. “Th e defendants’ alleged crimes not only victimized department stores … but also the consumers whose personal information were stolen and used to carry out the alleged scheme,” Brown said in a statement on June 2. “Even aft er the alleged culprits are prosecuted, the individual victims will still face diffi culty in repairing their credit ratings and credit scores. Th e fi nancial repercussions from being a victim of identity theft can last for years.” As part of the indictment, police raided this week three locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Ronkonkoma connected to the ring, seizing in total four fi rearms, ammunition, 81 counterfeit credit cards, 43 oxycodone pills, 25 morphine sulfate pills, credit card faces, a bulletproof vest, an expandable baton, a fl ash drive containing instructions on how create phony credit cards, 150 templates for credit cards, three card readers, a credit card embossing machine and a manual credit card imprinter.
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