Qns home to unsual crimes

The outside of the College Point Police Academy is nearing completion, NYPD brass said at a recent neighborhood civic meeting. Photo by Christina Santucci
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The NYPD was the focus of last week’s College Point Civic/Taxp­ayer’s Association meeting, where the commanding officer of the 109th Precinct discussed crimes committed in the area and a Manhattan inspector took questions about the department’s police academy under construction near the Whitestone Expressway.

Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire, of the 109th Precinct, said grand larcenies, the theft of credit cards or more than $1,000 worth of goods, is driving crime in the area but can be easily prevented. Maguire spoke at the meeting of the civic, held last Thursday in the basement of the Poppenhusen Institute, at 114-04 14th Road.

Residents should not be surprised if valuables are stolen, even if they only leave property unattended for a minute, Maguire said.

For example, a woman was recently working out at Dolphin Fitness, at 30-50 Whitestone Expwy., and took off a Rolex watch worth tens of thousands of dollars.

It was stolen.

Other crimes were less common.

A man who runs a food cart was visiting his mother in the 109th Precinct, according to Maguire, and had towed the mobile vending operation behind his car.

After staying at his mother’s house for a mere 1 1/2 hours, the man walked out to find the cart stolen off the back of his vehicle, according to police.

Elsewhere in the precinct, a serial vacuum thief hit a Target store two days in a row, according to the deputy inspector.

A man walked into the store on two consecutive days, each time grabbing two Dyson vacuums valued at several hundred dollars, then slipping out an emergency exit and getting into a car, according to Maguire.

Another woman in the precinct was the victim of a contractor scam, he said.

A contractor from Long Island charged $9,000 to install kitchen cabinets, according to Maguire, but after he purchased the merchandise from a supply store and the woman put down a deposit, the contractor returned the cabinets and pocketed the money, Maguire said.

Then, after the man had the $9,000, he called the woman and told her the cabinets were ready, but it would cost another $9,000 to install them.

“This woman wound up giving him $18,000,” Maguire said to gasps in the room, adding that the precinct made an arrest in the case.

Inspector Terrence Riley, of the NYPD, gave a quick presentation on the College Point Police Academy, telling residents that nearly all the steel work on the building has been completed and that it has reached its maximum height.

The NYPD expects the facility to open in December 2013.

A College Point resident named Jaisa Maddalena-Martinez also discussed efforts to create a community garden, and directed anyone interested to the movement’s website at

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 11:33 pm, October 3, 2012
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Reader feedback

Cleo from College Point says:
owning a Rolex worth tens of thousands of dollars and Dolphin Fitness doesn't jibe with me - is this a fraudulent insurance claim?
Oct. 5, 2012, 7:05 pm
Doria from Flushing says:
Yes, something fishy going on here. Most people in Queens can barely afford the fitness center, much less Rolex watches!! I guess the thieves got bored of stealing's vacuums and watches now!! LOL!!
Oct. 18, 2012, 8:38 pm

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