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Sunnysiders Ask Questions Following Burglary Spike and Assault of 81-Year Old

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Oct. 29, 2014 By Christian Murray

Following a recent spike in burglaries and the assault of an 81-year old, several Sunnyside residents turned out at the 108 Police Precinct meeting Tuesday to ask plenty of questions.

Many residents asked for more cops in Sunnyside, claiming the neighborhood is no longer as safe. Others wanted to know whether more officers could be assigned to the area and whether it made sense to form a neighborhood watch group.

However, Captain Brian Hennessy, commanding officer of the 108 Precinct, started the meeting by providing a rundown of the latest crime figures.

He told the attendees that there had been 9 burglaries in Sunnyside in the past 28 day period—with five occurring on 40th Street (three via fire escapes and two through the front door) and another on 41st Street—between 43rd Avenue and Queens Blvd—via a window.

He said when the police stepped up its presence in the low 40s the burglaries moved farther east, with incidents taking place on 47th Street (btwn 39th and Skillman Avenue); 48th Street (btwn 43rd and Queens Blvd; and 51st Street (btwn 39th and Skillman Ave.). In these cases, the perpetrator(s) broke in through a front window, which included pushing in air conditioning units.

Despite the uptick, Hennessy stressed that “We are a very safe precinct. Bad things happen but they happen less frequently here than in other precincts.”

He said the incident involving the 81-year-old man “was a disgrace and a cowardly crime.” However, although crime statics are flat for the year, he said: “One crime is too many especially if it happens to you or someone you know.”

Hennessy said that there have been two murders so far this year, compared to four for the same period a year ago—and the number of rapes is flat year-over-year. He said that there have been 130 robberies so far this year (about the same compared to the period a year ago) of which there have been 73 arrests, with the precinct close to making another 52 more.

Residents, however, wanted to know why there aren’t more police in Sunnyside on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, some wanted the crime statistic for Sunnyside as opposed to the precinct as a whole. Those numbers were not readily available on the night.

“You need to beef up patrols,” said William McCarthy, a Sunnyside resident. “We want to see more police on the streets especially on Queens Blvd,” he said. “While the neighborhood might be gentrifying, there seems to be more crime.”

Hennessy said the precinct is working with the resources it has. “Sure, we would like to have a cop on every corner.”

However, the precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Maspeth—is stretched with four or five patrol cars to answer 911 calls at its disposal.

It also has what’s known as an “anti-crime unit” that focuses on burglaries and violent crimes. Then there are units that handle schools and resources needed for traffic accidents.

Residents asked Hennessy how the precinct could get more officers. Hennessy said it is a decision made downtown that is dependent on demographics, crime figures and the number of 911 calls.

Some of the veteran attendees urged the first-time meeting goers to make sure they call in every crime.

“If you call it is recorded and the powers that be know and that is how you get more cops in the precinct,” said Carol Terrano, a Maspeth civic leader who is also an active member of Community Board 2. “Getting annoyed does not help, you have to use the system.”

Meanwhile, a group of women, representing Sunnymoms, a Yahoo group with about 1,000 members, came to the meeting and also sought more officers.

The group had compiled a list among their vast membership of the crimes they were aware of based on news reports and incidents that they had collectively gathered. They talked about robberies, burglaries and stolen bicycles–to intoxicated men with shopping carts in Lou Lodati and Corp. Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan parks.

The women said after the meeting that they will report back to the group to discuss whether to form a Sunnyside Civic Association or a neighborhood watch program. Other ideas, they said, included a letter writing campaign to the Police Commissioner—backed with data—calling for more officers.

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37 Comments

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Regular Joe

You are such a schmuck, Lenny! Peaceful protesters are not criminals. They only become criminals when they riot and start throwing objects through store windows and at the police. So you think that people who call the police on “the neighborhood” (whatever that means) are the true criminals? Sorry, but criminals are those who violate the law and prey on weaker people. You really need to get your priorities straight!

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Lenny Herrera

It’s interesting that an increase in gentrification in Sunnyside is also constructing a need to patrol the neighborhood more with police. I’m currently in college and when I get back to sunnyside you will see me protesting the increase in police presence in our community. Get ready y’all. And once I start protesting I will be the ‘criminal’. Nope. Those who call the police on the neighborhood are the true criminals.

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Lenny Herrera

This is incredibly stupid. We have a prison problem in this country. The criminal justice system is corrupt. We criminalize black and latino people and this increase in police presence seems particularly problematic.

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Regular Joe

You liberals are so predictable… When every other argument fails, you just throw out the “race card”.

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Fudge Striped Undies

So basically, you’re telling a long-time Sunnysider to move along because he doesn’t like trust fund babies moving in? LOL YOU move the fuck along, you kale sipping Starbucks lovin douche.

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a.bidge

Jesus @Regular Joe, get over the Hipsters! Everyone is getting robbed equally. When is this god damn neighborhood gonna shut the fck up about the new people moving in. Do you know how retarded and moany you sound! I’m sorry your long running working class bubble is gone, but tough, that’s life, if you don’t like it, move along…

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Regular Joe

Hey a.bidge: This neighborhood will only shut the “fck” up about all of you douchebag yuppies and hipsters who are moving in (and driving up the rents and displacing long-time residents) when you and your ilk stop moving to Sunnyside. That will only happen when another recession hits NYC and all of you snot-nosed snobby punks go back to where you came from because you lost your “high-tech” jobs and can’t afford the high rents which you created in the first place!

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Regular Joe

Unfortunately, the NYPD brass is more concerned about the safety of the newly arrived hipsters, yuppies, and Manhattan Rent Refugees living on Center Boulevard in Long Island City than he is about the less affluent, long time residents of Sunnyside.

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Fudge Striped Undies

Correct. They all go to where the money is, and Sunnyside is just a washed up, old place at this point, no one gives a shit. Arm the public. Everyone should strap. When something goes down, you shoot, end of story. See how many muggers will run around feeling powerful then.

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Kepler F1

Everyone get a nice sized (not too large) German Shepherd. You’ll be safer and have unconditional companionship for as long as he’s around.

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Just Asking

Again, I ask – Why hasn’t the JVB burglary response protocol been activated? Perhaps Sunnyside does not require more police officers, merely higher-profile victims?

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Oldschool Sunnysider

You want more cops?
YOU GOT MORE COPS!
This last week has seen a mass invasion of NYPD into the neighborhood…WITH NO ARRESTS FOR BURGLARIES….but plenty of tickets written to the locals!
LISTEN UP PEOPLE….The extra cops have to prove their worth by blitzing tickets…to show that they are “doing something”. They are NOT targeting burglars….they are targeting anyone they see…from a cyclist going the wrong way on 45th St to someone changing lanes without signaling on Skillman Ave.
Queens Blvd from 48th to Skillman has become a shooting gallery for tickets of any kind. The NYPD has to “justify” the manpower…so we, the citizens get targeted while the real criminals run free.

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Sunnysideposthatesme17

I’m telling you man, Drug Fronts. If cops or Bramer read this post , all I ask if you give me a shout out when you crack down on the drug lord running out of Sunnyside.

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William McCarthy

I think we should start a neighborhood watch! In addition we should start a community petition for more policing in the neighborhood. This combination
would work best to drill down on this community problem.
PS: The press is a great tool to drive results. Lets push our local council member , senator , community board, congressman etc.

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Silent majority

Actually Dealer has a point. If Chase had a halfway decent surveillance system anyone who knows these two scumbags would be able to notify the police and they could make an arrest.

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Craic Dealer

Sunnyside don’t need more police. Sunnsiders need a community watch! Police just do paperwork. They dont necessarily prevent crimes.

The police actually look to the community to help!

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Anon

Maybe if the NYPD stopped arresting people for bullshit marijuana charges and jumping the turnstile they could focus in on real crime. Parts of the City are basically like occupied territories there are so many officers.

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Silent majority

Does anyone remember back in April 2014 our beloved liberal criminal loving mayor stated and I quote ” Despite calls from some to bulk up what is a much smaller NYPD than it was in the 1990s, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday he doesn’t believe the department needs a bigger headcount.”

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Peter

This is a typical police response. They quote the stats (which according to officer Hennessy’s statement doesn’t include the minor crimes we all know are taking place, such as the vehicle break-ins and vandalism). In that sense, the police can claim that they have crime under control.

What they completely fail to understand is that it is not just the quantity but the type of crime and how it is taking place Crimes are being committed brazenly in the open with witnesses recording number plates and taking good descriptions, yet no follow up is made by the police. Homeless people are defecating in the open and exposing themselves to passers by. Elderly people are beaten up in the street during daylight hours.

This situation requires a much more robust response than the dry recitation of statistics, telling everyone its not that bad, and then bemoaning the lack of resources. Officer Hennessy, we need to hear that you care and that you are going to do something about it !

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William McCarthy

I have been a resident of Sunnyside all of my life.
In 38 years here, I have never seen this much crime!!!
Peter was spot on. The meeting the other night was a joke.
We need C.O Hennessy to step up and tackle this problem before it balloons into something we all will regret. This is a CALL FOR ACTION !!!
ALL RESIDENTS OF THE AREA NEED TO COME TOGETHER TO FIND A SOLUTION.

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El Loco

stop making statements geared towards peoples emotions. Can the guy just manufacture police officers? Everybody here thinks they are a hero making comments like “we need more police officers on Queens Boulevard.” Thanks Captain Obvious.

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Lori

It sounds like people from the neighborhood are doing a good job of documenting the details of some of these crimes. Is there a place for them to share this information? A website or social media page with these details, in conjunction with a neighborhood watch group, might help. At least it would be a useful document, especially if some of these claims about the 108th are true. Sure, it might raise some issues, but it might also get the kind o attention that gets more cops in the neighborhood.

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Lori

Maybe someone should create a website or social media page where people can share the information they gather on these crimes. It would be useful, especially if some of the claims about the 108th are true.

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Don

I have mixed feelings about increased officers in the neighborhood. I don’t if others have noticed but we definitely have an increase of traffic officers and it has made things worse. They park wherever they please, have meetings with fellow officers which block either pedestrian or car pathways and rearly ticket offenses when it is pointed out. Police culture is very much the same they are worried for liability so they have reserved judgement to help and sadly they don’t care for their fellow man. As they TV show Blue Bloods was filming the other day a vehicle with officers was parked on 43 avenue and 43 street. One looked as if he was sleeping & other playing with his phone. Seriously, how are you protecting anything if you’re not circumspect & vigilant.

However, the notion by seeing police officers a level of order will fall into place. Most people feel safe when there someone looking out for your better good. Also this neighborhood is changing from family centric place to fly by night tenants so there isn’t that feeling of community anymore.

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Eddie

The enormous amount of development in this area, including numerous high rises, adds big numbers to the local population. Shouldn’t that alone mean more cops and patrol cars?

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Lucky Lu

We should demand that the crime statistics be broken down into smaller areas. The 108th is huge geographically, but I’ll bet you that most of the home invasions are taking place in Sunnyside. We’ve read in other comments that police from the 108th either won’t take reports or discourage victims of crimes from reporting them. This needs to be addressed. And what is this with the 108th having only 4 or 5 squad cars for the entire precinct?? That is ridiculous! The station is all the way over near Vernon Blvd. No wonder we never see any of the cops over here!

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Cory

It’s not even up for debates that their needs to be more cops. We all pay wayyyyyy too much in taxes and city taxes theirs plenty of $$$ to hire more cops and pay more $$$ to have these areas protected. It’s an embarrassment and disgrace to this city that this goes and goes without anything being done. It’s even more hilarious that the council man lives right in the center of it and is not fighting for his welfare or safety of his own backyard.

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Moe

NYPD should deployed more Auxiliary Police officers in Sunnyside area. More police uniforms more safe neighborhood.

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