The 106th Precinct, including Ozone Park, has seen a spike in grand larceny and burglary, mainly due to a rise of rim and tire and identity theft, according to Captain Thomas Pascale, commanding officer of the precinct.
Pascale gave residents a crime update at the Community Board 10 (CB 10) meeting on Thursday, June 7.
According to the latest CompStat statistics from the week of June 4 through June 10, there were 38 grand larcenies in the last 28-day period of this year, compared to 22 last year. Overall, there have been 194 grand larcenies this year, as opposed to 133 last year at this time. That’s a 46 percent increase.
Burglaries have also seen an increase, at 32 for the last 28-day periods and 15 for the same period last year.
Pascale said that the identity theft spike is due to people installing card skimmers onto the entrances of banks on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach. Criminals install a camera over the ATM’s keypad, which allows them to see your pin number. They then encrypt your information onto a gift card, go to an ATM and see how much money they can take out from your account.
He advised residents to be careful when using ATMs and put your hand over the keypad when entering your pin number. This would block the view of the camera that the person installed and protect your pin number.
Pascale said that cars like 2011 and 2012 Maxima’s, Accord’s and Camry’s have been the primary targets for the rimand tire thefts.
The thieves have mainly targeted cars in Ozone Park, Howard Beach and Lindenwood. According to Pascale, the crimes usually happen around 4 a.m. during the week.
The captain said one way to protect your car is to buy a wheel lock from the dealership, though he cautioned residents not to keep the key in the glove box. Pascale cited an incident in which someone’s rim and tire were stolen despite using the wheel lock. He said the criminal found the lock for the device after breaking into the car, allowing him or her to take it off and steal the tire and rims.
By Luis Gronda