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Sunnyside Getting Hit by Burglars on Both Sides of the Boulevard

Capt. Brian Hennessy (Photo: QueensPost)

Feb. 27, 2014 By Christian Murray

Sunnyside continues to be a hotspot for burglars, with the latest incidents occurring on the south side of Queens Blvd.

Captain Brian Hennessy, commanding officer of Police Precinct 108, said at the monthly precinct meeting Tuesday night that in the past two weeks four burglaries have occurred between 41st and 43rd Streets on the south side of the boulevard.

He said the burglary pattern has shifted in the past two weeks—from the north side of Queens Blvd to the south.  The north side, however, has taken a beating in recent months (click for story)—with those apartments located between 48th to 53rd Streets (Skillman to 43rd Avenues) being hit the hardest in the past month or two.

The police still don’t have many leads on these cases and Hennessy said that the precinct needs the public’s help. “We are not getting the 911 calls we need…where someone calls in and says ‘Hey, there is this suspicious guy who doesn’t belong here’…or ‘I see this guy in my courtyard,” Hennessy said.

Hennessy said that the precinct has been assigning extra cars, plain clothes teams and other units to the trouble spots in what he referred to as “flooding the zone.”

There have been 21 burglaries in the precinct (covering Sunnyside/Woodside & Long Island City) in the past 28 days—up from 10 during the same 28-day period in 2013. Excluding burglaries, the overall number of serious crimes declined over that period.

Most of the burglaries were in three distinct precinct zones, Hennessy said. He said that there were the two Sunnyside zones and one near Elmhurst, between 69th and 71st Streets (btw. Roosevelt and 43rd Avenues).

In separate news, the police reported incidents at two Sunnyside bar/restaurants in the past month.

The precinct closed down Arzteca, located at 47-16 Greenpoint Avenue, last week for being open after 4:30 am. Hennessy said that the restaurant/pub had been issued with seven summonses—for being open after hours–over the past four or five months.

The restaurant is going through the courts to re-open.

Meanwhile, the operator of Baru Restaurant, located at 47-15 Barnett Avenue, was arrested for reckless endangerment. The establishment, which was acting as an after-hours club, had shut the doors on its customers to appear closed.

Hennessy said that locking the doors is a serious public hazard. In case of an emergency no one can get out of the building.

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“wALT” In response to your blog on Feb 28 about your complaining to 311 or whoever..about this Moday..March 3rd I went to the comm.Board 2 and to Jimmy Van Bramer’s office and registered a written complaint about these people who call themselves “Sunnyside Community Hall”….they rent space from the owner of the Korean Chuch..Mr. Mietra who also owns “Dunkin Donut” and other small retail spaces in the same block…..Community Board 2 would like to hear from would Van Bramer’s office about your concern regarding these weekly events…

43rd & 43rd

Agree @Really?, you are living in a dream world. I’ve seen suspicious things a few times, and I DID call the 108. They said “oh yeah?”, pretended to write down the location, and hung up. Don’t blame the people, there’s nothing we can do if the cops won’t take our calls.


I’m actually disgusted at the fact that most of you can sit here and bash on someone you have never held a conversation with. I attended a community Council meeting about a month ago. I addressed several issues that were occurring on my block, and after the meeting I walked up directly to Captain Hennessy and again voiced my concerns. He assured me that he would send more patrol cars to my block to try and get rid of the problem. Of course I didn’t quite believe him, but on the following day, the presence of the NYPD was seen on my block. Several times a day to be honest. I was shocked that he actually remembered where I lived since I didn’t see him write anything down. So thank you to him for helping my block out. Now regarding his comments at the recent meeting, maybe YOU should all take a good look around your neighborhood and see if anybody catches your eye, especially if they’re going down alleyways and backyards. The NYPD can’t do all the work themselves. We need to help them and guide them. We are the ones that live here and know the ins and outs of our own neighborhood. Instead of us concentrating on blogs like this one, we should concentrate more on helping to protect our neighborhood.

Ari Fink

Can someone please explain what cutting hair has to do with buying gold? Am I confused or does this not promote criminal activity?

Patricia Dorfman

All 911 calls are given attention according to a protocol of the most urgent. In most circumstances, one would certainly wait a long time for response to a call stating as vague as the example. However, when there is a hot spot of trouble, such calls are moved up further in the protocol as more forces r deployed on it. So that is, in my opinion, why the CO suggested 911 tips, as one tool we have at our disposal to help.
Good idea! maybe the news sites such as this and papers will publish notifications in addition to news. but bad guys also see the news. Some of us are working with another group to send just such information on an informal, voluntary, unofficial basis via email.
There were no jaywalking summonses in the 108 in the past 28 days but many for speeding, and other offenses. One attendee asked for more jaywalking summonses to help with pedestrian deaths.
David I and Tequila,
Boy, we would all love to see more walking cops on the beat. But with the data sharing CompStat, which enabled concentration of force on hotspots, crime plummeted and a lot of money is saved by taxpayers. I think the old days are forever gone. 🙁

Oldschool Sunnsider

Call 911 and if its not an “emergency” you will get hung up on.
Call the 108th, get treated like dog poop and get hung up on.
How about if Hennessy gets his cops off “profit-making” detail, writing tickets to drivers for the most BS offenses on Q Blvd between Jackson and 48th St and actually doing some POLICE WORK?


Its funny, if I get burgled, the police will take a report, and that’ll be it, i’ll be left out of pocket and feeling victimized. But if I set up some kind of deterrent to protect myself, lets say (for the sake of example and in true acme style) an axe suspended from the ceiling that will swing and cut the thieving bastrds face in two, if they come in the front door, lets see how quickly I get arrested and sent to prison!


It helps to share the “where” stuff is occurring, so I appreciate posters here who are doing that. Why is this info not promoted more openly? Police presence to prevent (instead of respond) is what we need.


Patricia, I appreciate your info. I cannot judge the Capt. however, the 911 comment seems off.
I hope he is excellent not just for listening and reporting back but for the actual police on the ground work. Get them out of cars and let them walk the neighbourhood.

43rd & 43rd

You can’t tell people it’s their fault for not calling the cops. I have called the 108 on several occasions (not 911 because it wasn’t a true emergency), and nothing happened. Like @AreYouKiddingMe said, I couldn’t even get the 108 to take my location or any info.

You need to talk to whoever mans your switchboard — and then you need to try harder to reach out to the community to encourage them to come back after years of telling them to leave you alone.

Patricia Dorfman


There is something interesting about these break-ins. Remember in the summer, it turned out that innocent-appearing roof workers and gardeners might have been the doing the break-ins? Whoever is doing these crimes seems to be “blending in” well, too. One set was between 1-3pm.

The NYPD increases its presence and pursues leads in an area. Then the criminal(s) shifts to next location. We do need to be the “eyes and ears” of the cops for this one. People complain here cops are not doing anything, but what if they were harassing innocents? We’d be outraged.

Calling 911: You don’t need to be sure to call. If you see something out of whack, call and say, “this could be nothing, but there is a guy roaming the halls I don’t know,” or “two guys shoveling snow just went behind the house across the street.”


Info Capt. Hennessy asked be distributed:

Confidence crime is also troubling the area, particularly the elderly. People receive calls from confidence criminals claiming to be from Con Edison, the FBI, IRS, and the NYPD offering to settle up back due bills if the victim will pay by “Green Dot” cash cards available at the corner store.

These cards are then purchased over and over by the victims, who are told they need to keep buying them because the numbers are not registering, with one victim losing as much as $1500. The Captain asked everyone to inform their friends, neighbors and family to be wary, and to not respond to telephone attempts to get your money. If you think you do owe $, hang up and call the agency directly and ask with a number you get yourself from the phone book or Verizon.

Meetings are interesting and usually quick as we have very low crime statistics here, despite this surge of burglaries. Member of the public invited to come and voice complaints, worries directly to the Commanding Officer and his team or find out the scoop. He was not blaming, he was asking. Captain Hennessy is excellent. He listens carefully and he acts to help, reporting at the next meeting. In addition to the cops, to help all are representatives from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, the District Attorney’s office, and Assemblywoemn Nolan (Diane Ballek) are there.

All are invited, next public meeting:

Tuesday, March 25, 7pm
108 Police Precinct Community Council
Sunnyside Community Services
Ground floor
43-31 39th St.
between 43rd Ave. & Queens Blvd. Sunnyside
Wheelchair accessible

David I

In my 3 years living in Sunnyside I’ve only seen cops on my street twice… and that was in response to 1) a murder and 2) a suicide. There is precisely zero police presence in Sunnyside. The only people walking around in uniform are the traffic cops giving tickets. Since they are revenue-positive for the city, they are everywhere! All I’m asking for is once or twice a day for a police officer to walk down 43rd ave. Is that really so much to ask?


Another incident occured at 46-01 greenpoint ave. (46th st) early Thursday morning. Still unclear as to what exactly happened but 2-4 officers were present on site from around 8am until midnight (16 hours straight) – both the apartment door and building door were replaced yeserday evening and the entire apartment was dusted for prints.


I was wondering why when I passed by Baru last weekend that there was blazing loud dance music coming from inside even though it’s supposed to be closed and last I saw they were trying to sell that property. I assumed they were illegally holding a party in there while it was still sitting idle on the market. I wonder if that is the case or they sold it already and it is under new ownership.

eric shun

if you pay close attention to the people that moved or are in this neighborhood in the past months it can give you an idea of whats going on….looks like there’s a section 8 hold up hotel/motel around here and its no good


Baru should be a strip club!! Lets start a petition to allow a strip club to be opened at this location. It is the ideal location, it will keep the neighborhood safe.


And every Friday and Saturday for the last year the old Korean church between 41st and 42nd and qns blvd host loud parties until approx 2-3 am. many of my neighbors and I have called to complain, and have received letters saying there is no violation. what they don’t understand that its the back of the building that reverberates through the backs of buildings between 41st and 42nd not the front. I have purchased a decibel reader and have been filming it weekly. I will be showing this to the councilman rep who has been notified of this and has sent me letters stating that Hennessy has been notified but has done nothing. The readings from my partially open window a half a block away read into the 70’s after midnight…reverberating the windows when closed. I believe the Law is that 50db 15 feet from an establishment is after 10pm is a violation…the Bass noises are too much.

Ari Fink

Kind of ironic when a pawn shop opens on queens blvd and crime goes up in the neighborhood. ..more then just a coincidence?..How about a barber shop buying gold?..Just take a look at the barber on Skillman between 49th and 50th

Kramden's Delicious Marshall

Cops are busy busting people for jaywalking these days.

Catching burglars doesn’t bring in the easy bucks.

Tequilla Mockingbird

Captain Hennessy should not rely exclusively on people calling 911.

The robberies apparently happen when people aren’t home. It’s hard for anyone to report anything if they’re not around.

He may want to consider having some sort of police presence on the streets of Sunnyside. It is virtually non-existent now.


I can’t remember the last time I saw a cop on the south side unless they were picking up take out at ten full. The 108 has yet to call me and tell me they found the guy that broke into my car or who stole my neighbors wheels.

Ressi Dent

Run that Baru guy out of town. It was supposed to be a restaurant, then it was closed down. It has no liquor license. Get rid of the sicko criminals.


That bum looks high as ****. Who takes a picture like that to have it posted as a representation of a Captain? Bum -_-


So what buildings were involved? What were the entry points/methods? As a resident, I don’t understand why this information isn’t being made available to the public and swiftly.

If the cops aren’t going to respond appropriately, we have to be the eyes and ears for ourselves. What measures can we take as a community if we don’t know what the H is going on?


The cast of Police Academy should be running the precinct. Michael Winslow could make siren noises and scare away the burglars.


With all due respect Captain Hennessey, perhaps the reason why you “are not getting the 911 calls” is because we know our calls will go unheeded. Most of us have learned not to clog the 911 system with non-emergencies, so we might perhaps call your precinct.

Last fall, there were rumors of rapes in nearby neighborhoods. When a suspicious character began stalking the young women who walk their dogs in Doughboy Park, going so far as to leap out of the bushes at them, I called the 108 precinct directly. The woman who took my call said, and this is a direct quote: “What do you expect us to do?” Dumbfounded, I stammered that perhaps additional police cars driving around could act as a deterrent. She quickly agreed, then hung up promptly. I had not, during our conversation, indicated where this potential predator had been lurking the previous three days. So where did she send those cars?

You might want to consider the dealings the residents have with your precinct before blaming the victims of robberies. Why don’t we call you? Because we know you won’t come.


Maybe its the new precinct captain; certainly sounds like he’s blaming citizens in this story. Do your job, NYPD. Get off your kiestrs


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