2009-06-03 / Features

114th Pct. Officer Nabs Graffiti Vandal

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

Police Officer Georgia Karagiannis was in uniform on patrol duty in a marked police car on April 9 at about 6:50 p.m. when she spotted a young male, about 18 years old, spray-painting the side of a building.

A member of the 114th Police Precinct's conditions team, Karagiannis "immediately exited her vehicle and arrested the individual", Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Paul Vorbeck said.

At the precinct during processing, Vorbeck said Karagiannis realized she had seen the graffiti tag "Munchy" before. Karagiannis went out and after a canvass, located 15 additional instances of vandalism with the graffiti tag of "Munchy".

As a result, the suspect was arrested for an additional 15 times for a total of 16 graffiti arrests, said Vorbeck.

Karagiannis was awarded April Cop-ofthe Month, "for her keen eye, perseverance and dedication to combat graffiti," Vorbeck said at the May meeting of the 114th Precinct Community Council.

Vorbeck said members of the conditions team tackle issues ranging from major crimes to quality of life offenses. "Wherever I need them, I deploy them," he said.

Recently, the 114th Precinct and the 114th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (Civ-OP) co-sponsored a community antigraffiti forum. "Basically, it was to let people know that the precinct and Civ-OP are very concerned about graffiti in the neighborhood," Vorbeck said.

James and Barbara Pollock, president and vice-president of the 114th Civ-OP, said a graffiti clean-up will be conducted on June 20. For information, call 718-728-8763.

In another presentation, the 114th Civ- OP honored Joe Mora with a special Presidential Service Award in appreciation of his extensive work as a volunteer with Animal Care and Control of New York City.

"He'll save any kind of animal," Barbara Pollock said, adding that Mora feeds abandoned dogs with money from his own pocket. Pollock said Mora once told her, "Every creature on this Earth has its purpose."

Jim Pollock said Mora qualified for the recognition based on having logged 4,000 or more hours of volunteer service.

"I want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart," said Mora, promising to continue his work.

"Crime continues to fall significantly, at the 114th Precinct, as it does citywide," said Vorbeck, noting a drop in all major index crimes of more than 12 percent this year to date from the same period of time last year.

Vorbeck said an anti-crime unit sting operation regarding the purchase of stolen items netted one location. "The vast majority of locations that we checked were honest and turned us away," he said.

A bar on Astoria Boulevard was closed under NYPD nuisance abatement procedures after it was determined the location was selling alcohol to minors.

A representative of the U.S. Census said employees are currently going door-to-door to update their address lists. Beginning in the fall, recruitment will begin for census takers moving toward the Apr. 1, 2010 Census Day. For information, visit www.census.gov/2010 or call 212-356- 3100.

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