Con man captured!
Hi Everyone, Here's something else you can be thankful for this Thanksgiving - the con man has been arrested! Thanks to word getting out alerting residents to the scam involving a male white ringing the doorbells of homes in Maspeth, Elmhurst and other communities asking for money to fill a prescription for his mother, a Sunnyside resident called 911. The 108th Precinct responded to 39th Avenue/49th Street in Sunnyside Gardens and arrested him. The 44-year old male had three outstanding bench warrants out on him for "cons" just like he was doing to us. He was charged with criminal trespass, fraudulent accosting and possession of burglar tools. I spoke with Captain Powers and told him, if necessary, we would be willing to do a "Court Watch" to make sure the judge gives him the maximum sentence. We commend the 108th Precinct for a job well done and plan to give an award to the arresting officer, PO Jamie Damico at our February meeting. I'll send out a reminder to everyone just in case you'd like to attend and applaud him. I want to thank everyone for passing the word to folks in our community and hope you have a great Thanksgiving! I'm sure we'll hear more about this arrest at our next meeting. Don't forget our meeting on December 6th. We have no meeting in January. Our February meeting will be on Monday, February 7th.
Our drag racing problem was the lead story on Eyewitness News tonight:
Maurice Avenue is flat, straight and newly paved. There are no stop signs or stop lights for nearly a mile, making it the perfect spot for drag racing.
"They have spotters looking out for police. They have communication signs. They know how to trick the cops," resident Armand Czapkowski said.
"There are hundreds of people out here. Cars parked in the driveways. It's kind of scary. They're running rampant," Cawley said.
So with the help of council members Jimmy van Bramer and Elizabeth Crowley, residents in both Woodside and Maspeth are urging the department of transportation to put in speed humps, speed grooves, traffic lights and speed cameras.
They're passing around petitions hoping something gets done before someone is hurt or killed.
CBS 2 News and Fox 5 also covered the story.
Maurice Avenue becomes a drag raceway
Join COMET and Council Member Van Bramer Monday, November 22nd at Tyler and Maurice Avenues to protest the drag racing.
Update on con man - very important!
The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment settlement provides $7M for neighborhood projects in the
communities of LIC, Maspeth and Greenpoint. A list of 22 projects has been made and a new park for
Maspeth at the former St. Saviour’s site (58th Street and 57th Road) is included!
In order to determine the final ranking of the projects, which will determine the projects to be funded, the
City Parks Foundation is holding 2 sessions for members of the public to go and vote for their
* On Wednesday, December 1st, from 3pm to 8pm, they will be at Queens Library (Court Square) at
25-01 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.
* On Thursday, December 2nd, from 3pm to 8pm, they will be at PS34 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, at
131 Norman Avenue (near McGuinness Boulevard)
Those who come out to cast ballots will be asked to rank their top 5 projects. Ballots may be cast only
once and must be done in person. Voting is open to all concerned citizens of Brooklyn and Queens. It is
important for local residents to vote and urge their friends and neighbors to do the same in order for
Maspeth to receive a share of the funding.
For transportation assistance or more information, contact
Newtown Historical Society
We were just advised by a COMET member that the con man, who has been going to homes to try to get money for his mother's prescriptions, just hit again. Please pass this on to your neighbors and e-mail everyone you know!!! The incident occurred this morning at 8:00 am in the vicinity of Fresh Pond Road/60th Road in Maspeth. The victim, who forked over $40, is too embarrassed to come forward and refuses to make a police report. The person who told our COMET member will continue to urge the victim to make a report or at the very least contact Council Member Elizabeth Crowley's office so maybe her staff can urge her to make a report. The con man had "salt & pepper hair" which matches the description given by our Elmhurst member.! Call 911 if you spot him ringing doorbells and tell the 911 operator that he matches the description of an individual who is conning residents. Don't forget to be prepared to give a description, height, weight, ethnicity, clothing, etc. One of our members e-mailed me and said he has a camera by his door and will snap the perpetrators photo if he rings his bell. Great idea!!
More Diesel Trucks and Trains Headed to Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Sunnyside & LIC?
Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) will be holding a Special Meeting about the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel Project on Tuesday, November 16th, 7:00 pm, at the Frank Kowalinski Post, 61-57 Maspeth Avenue.
The guest speakers will be representatives from the Port Authority who plan to discuss the latest version of the Cross Harbor initiative which would allow freight from other states to be brought into Queens by rail and then trucked from freight yards to their destinations throughout the City and Long Island. The original proposal was to place a large intermodal rail-to-truck operation on the former Phelps Dodge site in West Maspeth. The plan has now been altered in an attempt to minimize the impact on surrounding neighborhoods. Communities expected to be adversely affected by the Cross Harbor Project include Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Sunnyside and Hunters Point.
The Cross Harbor initiative, or any part of it, will not only bring more truck traffic into our communities, but it will severely impact the already gridlocked Fresh Pond Terminal that is creating quality of life and environmental impacts for nearby homeowners.
Residents from Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Sunnyside and Long Island City are urged to attend this meeting. Our communities are already overburdened with trucks and suffer the effects of pollution from the Long Island Expressway, Brooklyn Queens Expressway and traffic coming from Long Island. We need a united voice on this issue to ensure the Port Authority hears us and chooses the option that will result in the best outcome for our neighborhoods.
Community Alert #2
At our Monday COMET meeting someone told us about a neighbor who answered their doorbell and spoke to a male who stated his mother lived a couple of houses down and needed medication. He told them he dropped the prescription off at the drugstore but needed more money. The COMET member said his neighbor forked over $100. This con man has been making his rounds in Maspeth and Elmhurst - we haven't heard from anyone in Winfield yet.
On Tuesday, the day after our meeting, the doorbell of one of our Elmhurst members was rung at 11:20 pm. The male said his name was "Ron" and his mom, who lived a few doors down (he gave the address and our member knew who lived there and it wasn't an elderly woman) was in dire need of medication. He said he had to pick up the prescription which cost $212. He pulled out some money with a $20 bill on top and said all he needed was an additional $37. He even went as far as showing her ID but conveniently had his fingers over the info. The COMET member politely said "no" and watched him calmly walk away and turn onto Van Horn Street heading to 54th Avenue. As soon as she left she called 911. The 110th did a canvas but did not find the individual. Here's his description: male white, salt and pepper hair, mid 30's to early 40's, 5'6" to 5'7".
Please alert all your neighbors about this scam. If someone rings their bell they need to keep their security door locked. Try to get an accurate description, watch to see what direction the perpetrator went, look to see if a vehicle is involved and call 911 immediately. Obviously this guy is getting money from folks because he keeps coming back. Let us know if you hear of any more incidents so we can let folks know. Thanks.
Hi Everyone, At our meeting tonight we were not pleased to hear that we have a burglary problem in Maspeth and a smaller problem in Winfield that could easily escalate if folks do not keep an eye out. Since Elmhurst is not far, we want everyone to be on the alert. Maspeth/Winfield folks should note most of the burglaries seem to run in a line between the communities between 65th to 67th Streets. Folks who live in "the Valley" in Elmhurst should still be careful about robberies. One occurred just across Queens Boulevard on Albion Avenue at 9:00 pm and a 43-year old man was the victim. Especially those of you who live in Elmhurst, keep in mind that Holiday time is rapidly approaching and robberies in your area always seem to go up during that time. Here's the burglary statistics:
Welcome to COMET's blog!
Here you will find stories from our latest newsletter as well as interim posts about topics of interest.