Public Alerted To Series Of Robberies In Our Area
By Charles Rogers
Although crime generally is down throughout the city, including in the local area, a series of robberies ranging from purse-snatchings to car thefts to armed holdups have police from the 69th Precinct — and local residents — on the alert.
As one of her last roles as commanding officer of the precinct, Deputy Inspector Jeannine Jennette highlighted the thefts of cars, mainly Toyotas, that are being stolen allegedly by a group of teenagers.
Speaking at the recent Community Council meeting, Jennette said at least ten vehicles had been taken within a two-month period by "mostly joyriders," as opposed to those being taken for resale or to chop shops. She warned drivers to be extra cautious in locking and alarming their cars.
But car thefts were only part of the story, as the local officers were alerted to more robberies in every sector of the command. One source cited an armed robbery on East 105th Street near Glenwood Road on February 19th at 10:20 p.m. where a man approached a female victim, displayed a black handgun and stole her purse containing $50 cash and various credit cards. Ten days later, a 40-year-old man was arrested when he displayed a black gun and demanded a female victim’s purse on East 94th Street near Avenue D. Police have not said whether there is a connection between the two robberies.
Meanwhile, police believe that at least four individuals between the ages of 16 and 20 are responsible for a series of purse-snatchings on the other side of Canarsie, specifically in the East 80s. Reports indicate that the young suspects’ mode of operation is to surround their victims — usually senior citizens — and intimidate them into giving them their purse or wallet. The thieves usually cover their faces. On February 25th, one elderly woman was thrown to the ground by a male youth. He punched her in the mouth and forcibly removed an undetermined amount of cash and her bank card.
In another case, which occurred on February 15th at 10:30 a.m. a young woman walking near East 100th Street and Flatlands Avenue was accosted by nine — count them: 9 — youths and one stated, "Give me your jewelry or I’m gonna beat you up!" The girl tried to avoid the confrontation but one of the other youths bumped into her and she fell against the first one, who pushed her, causing her to fall and injure her knee. The youths ran away without taking any money.
Adding to the list was a robbery at a bodega on Avenue L on February 6th where two men displayed two 9mm handguns and one of the thieves said to the grocer, "You have ten seconds to open the register or I’ll shoot you." He then hit the owner with the butt of his gun and emptied the cash register while his accomplice held the owner on the floor and took his wallet. An undetermined amount of money was taken and the perpetrators fled.
In some cases, the thieves have been arrested and their ties to other cases are being investigated. As for the other cases, police are still following up and urge residents with any information on criminal activities to call them promptly.In an emergency, call 9-1-1. The number at the local stationhouse is 257-6211. All calls will be kept confidential.