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104th Precinct lauds two of Queens’ Finest

Capt. Michael Cody (c.) of the 104th Precinct honored officers Anthony Rodriguez and Michael Varecka as Cops of the Month at the precinct's monthly council meeting. Photo by Steve Mosco
TimesLedger Newspapers

Capt. Michael Cody of the 104th Precinct honored two Cops of the Month whose names keep coming up in his reports — and for all the right reasons.

“I see their names all the time when I read the arrest reports,” Cody said of Officers Michael Varecka and Anthony Rodriguez. “These are two motivated officers that do whatever needs to be done without hesitation.”

The two of Ridgewood’s Finest were lauded for their March 13 apprehension of a suspect in a cellphone robbery on Myrtle Avenue. Following an investigation and another robbery in connection with the suspect, the officers made an arrest and recovered the stolen property.

Varecka and Rodriguez also solved a string of youth-on-youth robberies in the area, arresting three individuals after exhaustive police work.

“This is a very well-deserved honor for these two police officers,” Cody told the March 29 precinct council meeting. “I hold them to a very high standard and they always answer the call.”

Prior to presenting the officers with the award, Cody reviewed the crime statistics for the 104th Precinct. Overall crime is down 1.8 percent in the 104th, with grand larcenies and burglaries showing the steepest drop. Felony assaults were up 5 percent from this point last year, most of which were of a domestic nature.

Cody reported that there was a shooting in Ridgewood March 10 in a barbershop on Seneca Avenue. An arrest was made by the Narcotics Division in conjunction with the detective squads and Cody believes the shooting was an isolated incident.

One crime that has given the precinct problems is robbery, according to Cody. The captain said there have been 63 robberies so far this year, compared to 37 at this time last year. Cody believes the 70 percent increase in robberies is largely due to the warm weather as more people are outside — increasing the chances of crime.

“People are being victimized by thugs who are out for new technology,” Cody said, referring to iPhones and MacBooks.Cody did say that while robberies are up, arrests are up as well - with 30 robbery arrests this year compared to 24 at this time last year.

Besides reading off crime statistics, the precinct council also doled out information on steps residents could take to prevent future crimes against their property. Cody told residents to use the precinct crime prevention service, a free offering that helps residents proof their homes against burglaries.

“A crime prevention officer comes to your house at your convenience and checks locks, lighting and anything else that can help deter criminal acts,” he said, urging residents to contact the precinct for more information.

The 104th Precinct council meets on the last Thursday of every month, with the next meeting scheduled for April 26. Contact the precinct at 718-386-3004 or the Community Affairs division at 718-386-2597.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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