2016-12-07 / Front Page

108th Police Precinct Community Council Holds November

By Thomas Cogan
The year’s last 108th Police Precinct Community Council meeting, held Tuesday, November 29, was started off with good news from Commander Deputy Inspector John Travaglia, who said that the latest crime numbers are “significantly low.”  Burglary, a crime that particularly annoys the commander, was down considerably during the 28-day period ended November 27, and though other crimes could be said to be gaining, with grand larceny gaining defiantly, the general decline in crime since he assumed command of the precinct two years ago is nearly 20 percent.  The crime report, which included the wrap-up of an infanticide case that occurred in late July, was, along with a Cop of the Month award ceremony, just about the entire business of the short meeting.

There were no murders during the most recent week in the report, a drop from one for the same week of 2015.  The 28-day period was also murder-free, though there were three earlier this year, bringing the year-to-date total ahead of the same period a year earlier by a count of three to two.  There were no late November rapes this year or last, but there were two during the 28-day period in both years, and in the year to date the rape total declined with all possible slightness, to 15 from 16.  There were no robberies in the most recent week, a drop from three for the week in 2015.  That was relatively sustained in the 30-day period when the 2016 total was five, the 2015 total 10.  The numbers for the year to date were relatively close, 92 for this, 106 for last, but that was a decline of 13.2 percent.

The felonious assault total for the most recent week was even with the same 2015 period, at two apiece, but was well down in the 28-day period, to six from 11, and in the year to date, from 188 to 134, a drop of nearly 16 percent.  Burglaries in late November actually doubled last year’s total, being six compared to three, but in the four-week period were really off (36.4 percent), to 14 from 22.  In the year to date they were down nearly 28 percent, dropping from 188 to 134.  Grand larceny was up all the way, to 10 from nine in the 28-day period; 47 from 43 in the 28-day period; and 481 from 409 in the year to date.  Grand larceny auto was even for the latest week (three-three), but well down in the 28-day period (nine from 15) and the year to date (109 from 141).

 The commander said that in response to the summer atrocity where a five-month-old baby was killed, detectives spent nearly 1,000 hours with interviews and other investigatory measures before making an arrest just a week before the meeting, charging the child’s father with second degree murder.  He is at Rikers Island awaiting trial.  The commander added that no other arrests are expected at this time.

Another crime of great interest at the meeting was a hold-up of the Sprint store at 46-31 Greenpoint Ave., facing 47th Street, on Sunday afternoon, November 20.  D.I. Travaglia said that the store was probably well-reconnoitered by two perpetrators, who would have seen that it contained a great many i-Phones and Android phones, protected, so to speak, only by two teenaged girls working there.  The two perps made their point by pulling at least one gun on the girls, who let them loot the place and carry off a valuable load of i-Phones.  The commander said it looked like part of a widespread crime operation that could bring further strikes in Queens and Brooklyn.

The Cops of the Month were Patrol Officers Spiro Frangatos and David Cortes.  On Friday, November 18, the two responded to a call of “shots fired” at Barnett Avenue and 43rd Street, at one end of Sunnyside Gardens.  A description of the alleged gunman was provided and the two officers went out to search the area for him.  Someone matching the description was seen on 42nd Street near Skillman Avenue and the officers approached to question him.  Nothing disruptive occurred but a 9-millimeter pistol was discovered in the man’s waistband and he was apprehended. D.I. Travaglia commented on what he believes is the sometimes extraordinary nature of ordinary police work by remarking how Officers Frangatos and Cortes went toward what could have turned into the line of fire, instead of avoiding it.  He said that the young women in the

Sprint store did what they should have done when a gun was pulled on them, offering no resistance and letting the thieves have their way; but the police are expected to counter dangerous-looking situations as part of their duty.





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