Police give update on Maspeth, Elmhurst crime

Capt. Don Powers (l.), commanding officer of the 108th Precinct, introduces new Commmunity Affairs Officer Luis Diaz to the COMET Civic Association. Photo by Howard Koplowitz
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The heads of three Queens police precincts updated the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together Civic Association on criminal incidents that occurred within the civic’s boundaries over the last month during the group’s meeting Monday night.

Capt. Tom Conforti, executive officer of the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, said the precinct has seen an increase in felony assaults and attributed the rise in part to assaults on traffic agents who have had coffee thrown at them by irate drivers being issued tickets.

He said there were two grand larcenies in the area of Elmhurst covered by COMET, including what he called a “disturbing” crime Nov. 1, in which a group of men snatched a woman’s pocketbook in from of a church by 81st Street and Grand Avenue.

Conforti said the precinct is well-equipped to handle incidents at the Queens Center Mall as Black Friday inches closer.

He said crime was down 15 percent at the mall so far this year and arrests were up 3 percent.

Capt. Michael Cody, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct based in Maspeth, said crime was up more than 15 percent during the 28-day period that ended Oct. 30.

Cody said the precinct had fewer burglaries and stolen cars compared to the same period last year, but had more robberies, felony assaults and grand larcenies.

While the 28-day period coincided with Halloween, Cody said there were “no noticeable incidents” related to the holiday.

The precinct recorded three robberies during the period, including a carjacking of a black Jeep Cherokee stolen at gunpoint and a commercial robbery on Flushing Avenue.

The third robbery was “unfounded,” Cody said, after the victim recanted their story.

Cody said the two felony assaults that took place in the area were both domestic incidents.

The commanding officer commended his officers for making a gun possession arrest Oct. 28 at the corner of 70th Street and Grand Avenue.

The officers were responding to a call of shots fired, which Cody said turned out to be “unfounded,” but a suspicious vehicle was stopped during the call and a loaded .22-caliber firearm was recovered.

“That was a very good arrest,” Cody said.

Capt. Don Powers, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct in Long Island City, which covers part of Woodside represented by COMET, said charges against 20-year-old Elijah Stamateris were upgraded from assault to murder in the killing of 21-year-old Delilah Cordoba in Woodside.

Cordoba died of gunshot injuries to her head at Elmhurst Hospital three days after the Oct. 24 incident.

Powers said Stamateris had prior arrests on marijuana and disorderly conduct charges and referred to him as a “low-level criminal” who is no stranger to police.

“He was well-known to my crime fighters in the 108th,” Powers said.

Powers said there were four assaults in Woodside — three that were domestic in nature and the other being the shooting that was upgraded to a homicide.

Two stolen cars were also reported in the area — a late-model Lexus and a late-model Audi, Powers said.

The commanding officer suggested residents hide valuable property in their cars so they do not become targets for burglaries.

“You can help yourself a lot of times with common sense stuff,” he said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 10:50 pm, November 9, 2011
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