Today’s news:

Men accused of Astoria car break-ins

Two men were arrested last week for allegedly smashing the windows of dozens of cars in Astoria and stealing items from the vehicles, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

George Tsintzelis, 23, and Joseph Deluise, 43, were arrested Aug. 17 on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal mischief, petit larceny and unauthorized use of a vehicle, the spokeswoman said.

The vandals allegedly broke into about 40 cars on 20th Avenue near the Con Edison power plant in Astoria and were caught by undercover officers patrolling the area in the wake of the thefts, said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), who represents the area and is chairman of the Council Public Safety Committee.

“The 114th is a very good precinct and they usually have a good idea who’s behind this stuff,” Vallone said.

Vallone said the men were charged with felonies because of the amount of property they allegedly stole.

The councilman recently sponsored a Council resolution that passed, urging Albany to pass a “three strikes law” that would give persistent misdemeanor offenders — described as criminals convicted of at least three misdemeanors over the span of 10 years — felony charges.

A police source said Tzintzelis and Deluise “are guys with long records of misdemeanor convictions. At best, they’ll do eight months.”

Vallone said the area where the accused vandals struck is “a pretty desolate area when it comes to late night traffic.”

Astoria is “a neighborhood full of one- and two-family homes and that’s where criminals like to strike,” the councilman said.

Vallone blamed the thefts on 20th Avenue and other areas of Astoria on fewer officers out on the street in the neighborhood.

The councilman said there were other incidents in Astoria where some cars were put on blocks after having tires stolen from the vehicles.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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