Rapes, Burglaries Put Forest Hills on Alert

Rapes, Burglaries Put Forest Hills on Alert

Barbara Stuchinski, president of the Forest Hills Civic Association, warns residents about a “baby-faced” alleged rapist still on the loose in the area. Forum Newsgroup photo by Jeremiah Dobruck.

Some high-profile crimes and a string of burglaries in Forest Hills and Rego Park have the two communities on edge and on the lookout for suspects.

In late May and early June, a man raped two women and robbed a third in the Northern end of Forest Hills.

Another crime caught headlines when police announced they were searching for two suspects who picked the pocket of a blind woman in a Rego Park subway station at Queens Boulevard and 75th Street.

Cops have also warned residents about a spike in burglaries—with more than a dozen lately.

At the June 12 Forest Hills Civic Association meeting, President Barbara Stuchinsky kicked off the gathering by warning attendees to be on the lookout.
She started by holding up an article detailing the pickpockets’ crimes. She said the young suspects aren’t what she expected.

Next, she held up a flyer of 20-year-old Ibrahima Ragis, the suspect in the two knifepoint sexual assaults on teenagers around 3 a.m. on May 19 and May 28. Police say he also robbed a third woman on June 3.

“Here’s another baby face that’s going around raping women,” Stuchinski said.
Zena Vailes, crime prevention officer at the 112th Precinct, passed out mugs of Ragis but also warned residents to lock their windows and doors for another reason.

“Burglaries are going on in Forest Hills,” she said.

There have been 15 in the last 30-day period of crime statistics.

“That’s a lot for Forest Hills,” she said.

Capt. Ralph Forgione, executive officer of the 112th Precinct, added that all but one or two of those burglaries were not forced entry.

He said burglars are testing open windows and doors, not prying into houses with crowbars.

Politicians have also hit the streets to warn residents of the rape suspect.
Early Thursday morning on June 7, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assemblywoman Grace Meng stood on the corner of 63rd Drive and Queens Boulevard passing out information on the sexual assaults.

“Alert about the Forest Hills rapist,” Koslowitz shouted as she handed out flyers to straphangers heading down to the R and M trains.

Some community members were also unsettled that the police did not notify Forest Hills residents about the rapist earlier, and Koslowitz agreed, saying she wants the police to use her and her colleagues as a conduit to warn people.

“I have always said to the police that they should notify the elected officials,” she said. “It’s very scary to know that this person is walking around.”

By Jeremiah Dobruck



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