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NYPD warns about burglary patterns in 105th

Joseph Courtesis (r.), commanding officer of the 105th Precinct who isshown in this file photo, warned residents to be on the lookout for groups of burglary suspects in the precinct.
TimesLedger Newspapers

With the 105th Precinct experiencing a surge in burglaries, authorities are warning neighbors to be on the lookout for two sets of suspects operating on opposite ends of the command’s territory.

Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis told the precinct’s community council last week that following a quiet summer, burglaries were up 7 percent for the year and 17 percent in the last 28 days.

“The condition has been spread out throughout the command,” he said. “It seems that once we take out one crew ... another condition pops up on the other side of the command.”

The 105th Precinct is geographically one of the largest in the city, stretching 13 miles along the Queens-Nassau County border from Glen Oaks in the north to Rosedale in the south.

Courtesis asked residents in the northern section near Queens Village to keep their eyes open for two white men posing as plumbers. He said they were targeting elderly residents, claiming to be doing work on the block.

The suspects tell their victims they need to check pipes in the basement and ask the resident to go in the backyard and turn the hose on. Courtesis said he got a tip from one homeowner who thought the faux plumbers were acting suspiciously.

“She was pretty sharp,” he explained. “She felt something was wrong right away. She actually called the police as they were leaving because she knew something was wrong. It wasn’t like she had to go back in the house and find something missing. She just realized, ‘Hey, all of a sudden they’re done and they’re just rushing out of my house like this?’”

In another burglary pattern the precinct was investigating, a neighbor told police she saw three black men in a green, older model Buick leave the scene of a burglary in the Rosedale area. Courtesis asked neighbors to be vigilant on their blocks and call 911 whenever they spot suspicious activity.

The 105th sends out alerts via its twitter handle, @105ComCouncil, to inform residents of crime patterns in their area. The community council is also continuing to recruit members for the NYPD’s Block Watcher program, which assigns a PIN to residents so they can anonymously call 911 or 311 to report incidents.

The council, which normally holds its monthly meeting on the last Wednesday of the month at the precinct headquarters, at 92-08 222nd St. in Queens Village, will meet one week earlier this month on Oct. 24 in order to accommodate the precinct’s Halloween party.

Meetings begin at 8 p.m.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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