2009-02-18 / Front Page

Police News & Borough-Wide Blotter

By Liz Goff

Hunt Suspects In Burglary Spree

By Liz Goff
Police officials last week released a surveillance photo of one of four suspects sought in connection with three recent burglaries in Kew Gardens and Rego Park.
Police said the suspects struck twice in the same Kew Gardens building on January 6, gaining access to the 79th Street apartments by picking locks. Once inside, the thieves ransacked the residences, stealing personal property, jewelry and electronic equipment.
The same four suspects hit again on February 6 when they broke into an apartment on 102nd Street in Rego Park, where they made off with electronics and personal property, according to police sources.
 Investigators believe two or three of the thieves entered each apartment, while a fourth suspect acted as a lookout.
 The suspects are described as white males, 30 to 40 years old, with a medium build. They were wearing black leather jackets, button-down shirts and ties and were carrying briefcases at the time of each break in, police said.
Anyone with information on the suspects is urged to call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. The Hotline is offering a $2,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.


Borough-Wide Blotter


105th Precinct
Girlfriend Arrested In
Fatal Stabbing
Police last week arrested a 36-year-old Cambria Heights woman after she stabbed her live-in boyfriend during a February 7 domestic dispute.
Vernice Esprit stabbed 56-year-old Harry Menard in the torso at their home on 225th Street. The dispute turned fatal when Menard died a short while later at Mary Immaculate Hospital.
Esprit was charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon at her arraignment at Queens Criminal Court. Investigators have not released details of the fatal dispute.

111th Precinct
Cash, Drugs Seized In Car Chase
Two police officers suffered minor injuries on February 6 while chasing a motorist who ran several red lights in an attempt to flee the cops, police said.
When the driver, Jesse Ramirez, saw the police he bolted, leading them on a chase that ended at the Clearview Expressway and 26th Avenue.
Police seized an undisclosed amount of heroin and cocaine, along with $20,000 in cash from Ramirez, who was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
Both police officers were treated and released at a local hospital.

115th Precinct
Hunt Cross-Dressing Bank Thief
Queens police officials last week released a surveillance photo of a suspect sought in connection with an attempted robbery at a Jackson Heights bank on January 13.
Police said the male suspect, described as 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 130 pounds, wearing a black woman’s wig, a hot pink jumpsuit, black trench coat and black sunglasses at the time of the incident, walked up to a teller at the TD Bank branch on Northern Boulevard and 72nd Street at about 3:20 p.m. on January 13 where he handed the teller a note that read, “You know what this is. Put the money in a bag. No dye pack. Don’t press the alarm.”
The quick-thinking teller thwarted the robbery by handing the suspect a bag filled with shredded, unusable bills, police said. The thief looked into the bag and said to the teller, “This is not a lot of money,” and fled on foot in an unknown direction, police said.
Anyone with information on the suspect is urged to call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. The Hotline is offering a $2,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

115th Precinct
Crash Driver Flees,
Leaves Friend Behind
A 27-year-old Astoria man found himself behind bars last week after he fled the scene of a crash on the Grand Central Parkway (GCP) leaving his critically injured friend behind, police said.
Police stated Bobby Totora was driving his 1989 Ford Mustang with a suspended license when he lost control of the vehicle near the southbound 108th Street exit on the GCP. The Mustang slammed into a guardrail and careened into a concrete pillar, critically injuring 19-year-old Joseph Maerkle.
According to the police Totora crawled from the wreck and fled the scene before police or an ambulance arrived. Maerkle was rushed to New York Hospital of Queens, where he remains in critical condition.
Detectives at the 115th Precinct Squad tracked Totora and convinced him to surrender a short while later. Totora was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license.


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