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Crime drops in 105th Pct

Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis (r.) honors Police Officer Sheldon Malcolm as Cop of the Month. Photo by Rich Bockmann
TimesLedger Newspapers

The 105th Precinct passed a milestone in late November when the crime level fell below where it had been last year.

“For the first time this year, I’m proud to announce that the command is showing a decrease in crime year-to-date, for the 28-day period and week-to-date, so we came a long way,” Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis told the precinct’s community council meeting last week. “We started the year off when we got hammered, and we chipped away at it.”

Overall crime was down slightly less than 1 percent on the year for the week of Nov. 19 through Nov. 25, due to a 20-percent drop in auto thefts.

The command showed slight increases on the year in grand larcenies, robberies, assaults and burglaries.

Murders were up 40 percent on the year — from five at the end of November 2011 to seven this year — and rapes were up 30 percent, from 23 to 30.

Courtesis also honored two officers who thwarted burglars who tried to cash in following Superstorm Sandy.

In the days following the storm, the precinct was so inundated with 911 calls that dispatchers were having trouble getting the priority jobs out to officers in the field, Courtesis said.

Police Officer Sheldon Malcolm and Sgt. Matthew Menz, however, noticed a call come across the computer in their patrol car for a burglary in progress around 1:30 a.m. Oct. 31 at the New York Motorcycle shop on Jamaica Avenue in Queens Village.

When they arrived, they saw a U-Haul truck backed up to the darkened building’s gate, and after the alleged perpetrators took off the officers chased them down and searched the truck, where they found gloves and a knife inside, Courtesis said.

The deputy inspector said that when the two suspects were questioned, they admitted they had stolen the U-Haul truck from within the neighboring 103rd Precinct earlier in the day, and that they had been on the prowl for buildings without electricity as easy targets.

“They also admitted that they saw the motorcycle shop had no power and they were going to steal all the bikes,” he said.

Courtesis said one of the suspects was on parole for a previous burglary charge.

“They were probably stopped from committing more burglaries in our command, so I really want to thank the officers,” he said.

Malcolm and Menz were honored as the precinct’s Cops of the Month for October. The two were also named the precinct’s top cops in April.

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

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