Tire Thefts Also on the Agenda
By Raanan Geberer
BOERUM HILL — Over the years, one of the most common complaints of people who live near Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill is that large, often oversized trucks speed, create excessive noise, make illegal turns and generally flout traffic regulations.
It was shown at the most recent meeting of the 84th Precinct Community Council on Tuesday night that these rogue trucks are still a cause for concern. Speaking for the precinct, Lt. Timothy Wilson talked about the results of a recent sting operation targeting trucks on the avenue.
The operation, he said, yielded one summons, 26 moving violations and one arrest, involving a driver with a revoked license. Trucking violations, said Leslie Lewis, president of the community council, are punishable by much more substantial fines than the typical fines handed out to car owners.
Lewis added that these stings are somewhat infrequent because they involve a substantial amount of planning between the NYPD and the state Department of Transportation, whose agents take part in the operation. Agents also use special scales to measure the weight of trucks.
During the meeting, Deputy Inspector Mark DiPaolo, the precinct’s commanding officer, also took questions from the audience and spoke about crime trends in the precinct.
Although crime overall has gone down, he said, one disturbing trend is the fact that there have been several thefts of tires and wheels from cars in the past month. These crimes are usually done by a team of two or three criminals, including a lookout. Often, they go from place to place in a rugged vehicle like a Range Rover.
The criminals have sophisticated equipment that can remove tires and rims in a minute.
The following day, the unsuspecting motorist goes to his car and finds that it’s propped up on milk crates. In one case, he said, one of these criminals removed a tire and rolled it down a hill, where another member of the gang caught it and put it into a vehicle.
As usual, Lewis and DiPaolo honored a “cop of the month.” This month’s honoree was Police Officer Ywoeh Alrubyai, who was investigating a female thief who was wanted for stealing women’s handbags from unsuspecting customers in stores around the Fulton Mall.
After one robbery, Officer Alrubyai went to several stores to speak to managers and customers. At one store, a manager and a customer gave him a description and said she had just been there. Accompanied by the two witnesses, he started canvassing the area and noticed a woman who fit the description. As they approached, she quickly put a handbag she was carrying under a nearby car.
Alrubyai was able to retrieve the handbag, which was soon linked to a larceny victim. Later, he discovered that she had another bag, which also had been stolen. It turned out that the suspect had a record of more than 85 arrests. DiPaolo praised Officer Alrubyai for “being able to get a career criminal off the streets.”
The meeting also contained a brief debate between several Atlantic Avenue business owners and DiPaolo about the frequency of foot patrols on that busy street, and a “thank you” from a community resident whose house had been burglarized while she was sleeping. Police later arrested a suspect in the burglary.
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