Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

NYPD Alert: Catalytic Converter Scam

October 21, 2014

CA

Protect Your Business from Catalytic Converter Thieves

Since 1975, all vehicles produced in the United States must have a catalytic converter as part of the exhaust system. The catalytic converter is an emissions-control device that contains precious metals that act as catalysts. When hot exhaust enters the converter, a chemical reaction occurs that renders toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, into less harmful emissions.

With the price of precious metals skyrocketing, thieves are helping themselves to catalytic converters that contain enough platinum, palladium or rhodium to make it worth the risk to cut it from the underbelly of your vehicle. You might become aware that your catalytic converter has been stolen when your vehicle starts with a gravelly roar.

The Cost of Catalytic Converter Theft

Stolen catalytic converters are sold to scrap yards for around $100 to $150, but the cost to your business could be much bigger. There’s the hassle of a vehicle that can’t be safely driven, as well as the expense of having it towed to a local repair shop and getting the part replaced.

What Do Thieves Look For?

Catalytic converter thefts typically happen to vehicles that are parked for prolonged periods in large lots, such as shopping centers, mass transit commuter lots or company parking lots.

Vehicles that sit higher from the ground, such as trucks, pick-ups and SUVs, are particularly vulnerable to catalytic converter theft because thieves can slide underneath without having to jack up the vehicle to gain access to the converter. With just a few cuts of a battery-powered saw, the catalytic converter can be stolen in less than a minute.

Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft

To combat catalytic converter thefts, a number of states have passed laws tightening the restrictions on metal scrap dealers. In many cases, dealers are required to verify the seller’s identity with a photo ID and maintain complete records of sellers for 5 years.

To prevent catalytic converter theft, use common sense and follow these tips:

  • Always park in well-lighted areas
  • At shopping centers and other similar parking lots, park close to the entrance of the building or near the access road where there’s a lot of traffic
  • If you own or work at a business or factory, park within a fenced area that’s busy during the day and secured at night
  • Engrave your license plate number on the converter to make it traceable
  • Purchase a vehicle security system and make sure it’s set to trigger with just the slightest motion
  • Visit a local muffler shop and have the converter secured to the vehicle’s frame with a hardened steel welded to the frame
  • Examine the different types of catalytic converter theft deterrent systems at your local auto parts store or online

Crime Tip: Another Green Dot Money Pak Card Scam

August 27, 2014

CA
The latest criminal scams involving Green Dot Money Pak Cards has focused on people looking to buy cars off of Craig’s List. Interested buyers are told to send payment using the GREEN DOT MONEY PAK CARD to purchase the advertised vehicle. Buyers and Sellers email back and forth until the buyer sends payment using the GREEN DOT CARD. The buyer never gets the vehicle and never hears from the seller again. Their money is lost.

TIP

If you are asked to make a payment of any kind using a Green Dot Money Pak Card:

  • Disconnect from the person calling, texting or emailing you
    Green Dot Money Pak Cards are being used by criminals to steal your money.

Reporting a Natural Gas Leak

June 19, 2014

CA

The City of New York has begun a public awareness campaign to urge residents to call 911 -and not just their utility – if they smell gas.  Previously, residents who smelled gas were often told to call their gas utility or dial 311, the city’s information hotline.  Now, any calls to 311 reporting gas will be transferred to the 911 emergency line, automatically triggering a fire department response.

If you suspect a natural gas leak:

  • Leave the area immediately and go to a safe location
  • Do not try to locate the source of the leak
  • Do not do anything that could cause a spark and ignite the gas:
  • Do not use electrical devices, such as light switches, telephones, or garage door openers
  • Do not use an open flame, matches or lighters
  • Do not start vehicles parked in the area
  • Do not try to shut off any natural gas valves
  • From a safe location, call 911 to report a gas leak.  Do not call your gas provider.
  • Do not re-enter the building or return to the area until fire department or law enforcement personnel deem the area safe for re-entry

Signs of Natural Gas Leak

  • “Rotten egg” smell
  • Dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area
  • Dirt or dust blowing from a hole in the ground
  • Bubbling in wet or flooded areas
  • Blowing or hissing sound
  • Flames, if a leak has ignited
  • Gas in transmission pipelines does not have odorant added, so signs of a pipeline leak may include all of the above except the rotten egg odor

 

Shopping Alert – Safety Tips

May 15, 2014

CAWhile overall crime is down throughout the city, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. Leaving your valuables unattended in a shopping cart is never a good idea. Next time you are using a shopping cart, remember the following safety tips:

  • Be aware of your surrounding at all times.
  • Report anyone who appears to be acting suspiciously.
  • Never leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart.
  • When possible shop without a purse.  Use your pockets to hold cash, debit/credit cards, driver’s license, keys, etc.
  • If you must shop with a purse, consider securing it using cart’s child safety straps.
  • You may also want to carry your own clamp in your purse, such as a Carabineer, to hook it directly to the shopping cart. It only takes a second to secure and is worth the effort.

911 Emergency Calls

May 13, 2014

CA

Police operators are trained to handle a variety of calls and emergencies. Although they are assisted by some technology, there are essential things the public can do when calling 911:

1. GIVE AN ADDRESS – The location of the emergency is the first and most important thing operators need.  Give the operator the address as specifically as possible, and the borough. If you don’t know the exact street address, providing the street name, nearby cross streets and landmark or highways can go a long way in helping speed help to where it is needed. If you don’t know where you are and are able to, visually scan and describe your surroundings.

2. ANSWER QUESTIONS – Call takers and dispatchers will ask you for more information, so they can properly notify responding officers and necessary authorities, or in some cases provide you with potentially life-saving instructions – for example; how to administer CPR. You may be asked to repeat some information to EMS or Fire Department personnel. It doesn’t delay help that is already on the way.

3. REMAIN CALM – Try to remain calm and provide as much detailed information as possible. The calmer you are, the clearer you can be, the better operators and responders can hear and help you.

4. DESCRIBE THE EMERGENCY – Are your or is someone else hurt? How? Whether you need medical attention, police response, or other emergency assistance, explaining the nature and severity of injuries can be critical – is the person conscious? Choking? Bleeding? Describe what is happening to the best of your ability, or ask someone else to, and leave the line open if you cannot speak.

5. DESCRIBE PERPETRATORS – If you have witnessed a crime or been victimized, get to safety first. As soon as you can, call 911. Describe if there is a suspect or suspects, whether weapons are involved; what the perpetrators look like, including race/approximate age/height/weight/clothing type and color; where they are or how they fled, and in what direction. If they were in a vehicle, what make/model or color and size? Even partial descriptions and license plate numbers can be helpful.

6. KEEP PHONES OPEN – Tell operators the number from which you are calling. Use a landline when possible, and if calling from a cell phone, do your best to leave it on.

7. FOREIGN LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE – Foreign language assistance is available, in more than 140 different languages. Callers can be connected to Spanish-speaking operators, or to other live translators via phone.

8. USE 311 – 911 is for emergencies only. Use 311 to request information, or to report conditions or problems that do not pose an immediate harm to you or others.

9. INCREASE AWARENESS – In a safe and supportive manner, train children how and when to call 911. Also, know what precinct you live in – a list of NYPD precincts and police service areas which cover public housing is available online via nyc.gov/nypd – see Precincts for a directory of locations and phone numbers.

10. EVERY CALL MATTERS – All calls are important! including false alarms and prank calls, which take operators away from citizens whose lives may be in danger. Pranks are punishable by law. Avoid accidentally dialing 911 – lock and secure your phone when ifs not in use to prevent’pocket/purse dial.

102 Makes Major Drug Bust in Woodhaven

February 6, 2014

102
On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 the New York City Police Department’s Major Case Unit of Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North executed a search warrant at a mechanic auto shop located at 80-09 Atlantic Avenue.

102-drug-bust

An employee of the mechanic shop was selling cocaine out of the location. This individual was responsible for illegal drug activity which
adversely affects the quality of life for the members of the community. The Police need your help in keeping your neighborhood safe in drug free environment.

For drug related issues call the Mayor’s Drug Hotline at 1-888-374- DRUG(3784)
If you have information about past crimes call 1-800-577-TIPS
For crimes in progress please call 911
* All calls will be kept confidential

Civilian Patrol to Be Discussed at Woodhaven Town Hall Thursday @ 7:30

November 19, 2013

Woodhaven’s Monthly Town Hall meeting will take place THIS WEEK:

Thursday, November 21st at 7:30 PM

Emanuel United Church of Christ

Woodhaven Boulevard and 91st Avenue

(Enter through 91st Avenue Entrance)

Guest speakers include representatives from the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol

Since we have been discussion the potential for starting up (or re-starting) a Woodhaven civilian patrol, it will be interesting to hear details of how GCOP works.  They have been operating successfully and continuously since 1976 — we could learn a lot from them.

We could certainly use a civilian patrol in Woodhaven — but many of us don’t know all that is involved.  Thursday would be a great opportunity to ask questions and get some answers from a group that’s been doing it for decades.

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If you have any questions, please email us at info@woodhaven-nyc.org or call us at 718-296-3735 and leave a message.  Hope to see you Thursday Night.

Is This The Same Guy?

January 17, 2013

Update:  On April 1st, a woman in Elmhurst was attacked and raped (click here, scroll down).  The sketch of him is very similar to the Richmond Hill rapist from 2012 — see for yourself and compare:

sameThe 2012 Richmond Hill rapist was described as: “25 to 35 years old, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-7 and approximately 200 pounds with spiked hair.”

The 2013 Elmhurst rapist was described as: “25 to 30 years old, 150 to175 pounds with black spiked hair.”

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On Sunday, 5/27/2012 a man raped a woman on 89th Avenue between 102nd and 104th streets.  Although the story says the rape happened in Woodhaven, it was actually in Richmond Hill.  Click here for story.

On Sunday, 1/13/2013 a man attacked a woman in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Click here for that story.

Last night, on Twitter, someone made a remark about the resemblance between the sketch of the Richmond Hill suspect and surveillance video of the Williamsburg suspect.  Here they are, so you can compare — similar jowls, or jawline.  Big ears.  Spiky hair.  Eyes look similar.  We have passed along the information to the NYPD to see what they think.  But we’d like to hear your opinion — make sure you vote in our poll below.

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