The police precinct covering Forest Hills and Rego Park had a steep drop in crime this month, a trend the precinct’s commander wants to carry through to the end of the year.
Deputy Inspector Christopher Tamola said index crimes in the 112th Precinct were down 27percent in the last 28-day period compared to the same month last year.
Robberies dropped, with 48 compared to 51.
Burglaries also fell with 53 compared to the 64 in the same month last year.
Tamola said this drop was partially due to an arrest of a serial burglar that hit at least four locations—driving crime up in the previous period.
“When we did have an increase we were able to make an arrest on that burglar,” he said.
Even with a high-profile rapist still not arrested, Tamola said rapes are also down in the precinct with 4 in the last period compared to 7 last
But the steepest fall came in grand larcenies—which Tamola called the defining crime in Forest Hills. There were 25 compared to the 43 in the same month last year. The overall number of grand larcenies is still up though.
There have been 208 grand larcenies so far this year compared to the 203 there were at this time last year.
Tamola said with numbers like last month’s, though, they’re on the verge of beating last year’s totals.
“I’m confident we’re going to catch that number by the end of the month,” he said.
Year-to-date, crime is still up 3 percent in the 112th Precinct, and Tamola said his strategy to combat that is community outreach. He read off two police reports of crimes he believes could have been easily averted.
In one case, the report stated a woman left her purse in a shopping cart while she turned her back.
In a second case, a man left his iPod on the counter as he turned around to get sugar for his coffee, the report said.
In both cases, the property disappeared as soon as they turned their backs.
“These are the kind of crimes that are keeping crime up here in Forest Hills,” Tamola said. “If I can chisel off a couple of these a week—if I get rid of one a week, that’s 52 crimes for the year—and I’ll have my double-digit reduction.”
Forest Hills rapist still on loose 112th Precinct police and the NYPD’s Special Victims division are still hunting for Ibrahima Ragis, the 20-year-old accused of sexually assaulting two women in May and robbing a third in June.
“We know who he is,” Tamola said “We know where he was laying his head.”
However, Ragis has remained on the lamb since a foot-chase with police in early June.
After police released his photo to the public, Tamola said there was one point he was almost sure they had arrested Ragis.
“We brought an individual in one night—you would’ve sworn it was his twin brother,” Tamola said. “We even actually had to fingerprint him to make sure it wasn’t him.”
Tamola said the 112th tripled its patrols to make sure he didn’t hit again and detectives are hunting down leads from a phone he dropped and his previous address.
“I’m hoping he’s out of town and he will get picked up by our detectives,” Tamola said. “The good news is he has not hit since June 3. The bad news is we haven’t apprehended him.”
By Jeremiah Dobruck