WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES FEBRUARY 22, 2018 3
Cops working to stop ‘professional group’ of burglars
professionals in every aspect of their
They typically wear backpacks,
hooded garments with their faces covered
and gloves on their hands, the commander
said. He also described them as
highly athletic, able to climb and leap
balconies, break into front doors, use
ladders to get onto rooft ops and squeeze
through very small windows. Inside
the backpacks are tools used in the
break-ins, and the suspects are using
radios and scanners to communicate
with each other and listen to the police
frequency, Mastronardi said.
“I think they’re part of a larger organization,
I don’t think it’s just one of our
regular guys looking to make a quick
buck,” Mastronardi said. “I think it’s a
professional group that’s working the area.
I think they’re working from Queens
all the way out to Long Island possibly.”
The captain urged residents to keep
their windows and doors locked and
call 911 if they see anybody suspicious
in the neighborhood. With the mobile
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BY RYAN KELLEY
An ongoing home burglary pattern
in Maspeth was a topic of
concern for residents who attended
the 104th Precinct Community
Council meeting on Feb. 20 at Martin
Luther High School.
Captain John Mastronardi, commanding
offi cer of the 104th Precinct,
explained that several residential burglaries
have been reported in Maspeth
and northern Middle Village over the
past few months. The precinct has responded
to the burglaries by placing a
temporary headquarters vehicle in the
area, which was fi rst located at 80th
Street and Eliot Avenue and has now
been moved to 69th Street and Grand
Avenue, Mastronardi said.
“We’re fi ghting it really hard, I’m not
going to lie to you,” Mastronardi said.
“It’s been tough for the past few months,
but we’ve been able to push them over
to where we want them, and hopefully
push them up and away.”
Most of the incidents have taken
place aft er 5 p.m. and into the early
morning hours, Mastronardi said.
There are at least two, but as many
as fi ve, male suspects involved, and
the commander described them as
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headquarters in the area, Mastronardi
said the precinct is prepared to respond
very quickly to these calls.
On a lighter note, the captain also
presented two offi cers with the “Cop of
the Month” award for their eff orts to
stop a group of suspects that were wanted
in a pattern of delivery robberies.
Offi cers Cynthia Oliva and Maria
Santos, who are partners in the conditions
unit for the precinct, responded
to a call on Nov. 23, 2017 at approximately
7 p.m. for a delivery man that
got robbed in the street on 79th Place
and 77th Avenue, Mastronardi said.
The offi cers decided to assist in the
investigation and search for the three
individuals being described over the
Not long aft er arriving in the vicinity
of the incident, Oliva and Santos
saw three individuals matching the
description who were also holding
Chinese food, the captain said. The
offi cers approached the three individuals
and apprehended them, and the
suspects turned out to be connected
to four other robberies.
Santos has been on the force for
two-and-a-half years, Oliva has been
an offi cer for seven years, and Mastronardi
described them as two of
his “most active” police offi cers in the
Photo by Ryan Kelley/RIDGEWOOD TIMES
From left to right: Captain Michael Gibbs, Captain John Mastronardi,
Offi cer Cynthia Oliva, Offi cer Maria Santos and Precinct Community
Council President Len Santoro after presenting Oliva and Santos with the
Cop of the Month award.