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109th officer foils alleged thief’s MTA getaway

TimesLedger Newspapers

The 109th Precinct honored two quick-thinking police officers last week: one who foiled an alleged thief’s public transit escape and another who cuffed two suspects with lengthy rap sheets.

Officer Wing “Sammy” Har was on duty Feb. 22 when a 13-year-old reported someone stole his cellphone around 3:30 p.m. near the corner of Colden Street and Geranium Avenue, according to police.

Har and his partner, part of the precinct’s anti-crime team, got a description of the suspect but could not find him after canvassing the surrounding area.

The officer believed the alleged thief was either holed up in a nearby apartment building or had boarded a bus and was being shuttled away from the scene.

Har decided to try and cut off the public transit vehicle and headed south on Kissena Boulevard into the neighboring 107th Precinct.

When a Q34 bus came to a halt at one of its stops, Har boarded the vehicle and spotted the alleged thief, an 18-year-old man. The teen was cuffed and brought back to the precinct.

Later that afternoon, a 12-year-old walked into the 109th and said his phone had been stolen around 3:10 p.m. near the corner of Beech Avenue and Kissena Boulevard, 20 minutes before the first call. The description of that alleged culprit matched the one from the earlier robbery.

The 18-year-old was charged with both robberies, according to police, which added to the teen’s two prior robbery arrests.

Officer Dominic Cappiello was on patrol last month when he received a call about a robbery near the corner of Parsons Boulevard and 35th Avenue, according to police.

While canvassing the area, Cappiello spotted four men standing near the corner of 137th Street and 32nd Avenue. The men also saw Cappiello and attempted to flee the scene.

Cappiello and his fellow officers chased down two of the four men and cuffed them. Soon afterward another robbery call came in, according to police. When officers apprehended the suspects in that incident, they turned out to be the two men who had escaped earlier.

“They definitely stopped additional robberies from happening that day,” said Inspector Brian Maguire, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct.

In addition to the two Cop of the Month Awards, the 109th Precinct Community Council paid tribute to a long-serving officer set to retire.

Officer Kelley Glennon, who has served in the precinct’s community affairs unit since 2004, announced that she will be retiring. Glennon received honors from state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), city Comptroller John Liu and the City Council, presented by Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).

Glennon joined the force in 1987 and was assigned to the 103rd Precinct before joining the 109th shortly after. Glennon was assigned to patrols and later the domestic violence unit before landing in the community affairs office. She received various decorations throughout her career.

“I just want to say thanks. It’s been a good run,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of people along the way and seen a lot of things along the way.”

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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