Overall crime is down in Ridgewood, with police making headway on the area’s biggest problem – prostitution – Captain Michael Cody of the 104th Precinct told attendees at a Citizens for a Better Ridgewood meeting on the evening of Monday, February 27.
“One of the major complaints I got when I first got to the precinct was the prostitution problem,” Cody said at the meeting, which was held at the Saint Aloysius Parish Hall on Onderdonk Avenue.
The precinct, which monitors Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale and Middle Village, has conducted three undercover operations so far, in which officers are sent out to catch people who patronize prostitutes.
In the three operations, officers made 27 arrests and seized four stolen vehicles.
Cody said he went with a team on the prior Friday night.
“We did a great job, right out in the rain,” he said. “We got nine arrests.”
A representative from the Queens District Attorney’s office attended the meeting, along with Councilwoman Diana Reyna, and said Queens is surpassing its fellow boroughs in safety.
For example, Queens had 22 percent of the city’s total violent felonies in 2011, with a violent felon conviction rate of 7.7 percent.
In addition, Queens has the highest conviction rate for domestic violence in the entire city, the representative said.
Cody said the 104th Precinct had 27 reported crimes in the last month, up 42 percent from the 19 in the same month in 2011. But, he said, the snowstorms in the winter of 2011 helped keep crime down.
The precinct is down in grand larcenies and stolen vehicles, Cody said. It is also down five percent in felony assaults and 7.8 percent in burglaries.
He said most felony assaults reported to his precinct jurisdiction are domestic. One was in a bar.
Currently, the biggest complaint the precinct receives involves robberies.
There were 15 robberies in the last month, Cody said, which could be because “the weather’s a lot warmer this year, there’s a lot more people out on the street than last year.”
He added, “one of the major crimes we get is robberies of electronic devices.”
For iPhone users, Cody recommended downloading the iCloud application, which works like a global positioning system and locates missing phones, iPads and iPods.
Burglaries are also an issue, he said, particularly in the Ridgewood area. One occurred Monday morning, at about 11 a.m., when two men invaded a home in the vicinity of 58th Road and 64th Street and attempted to rob it.
However, the occupants of the apartment walked in on the burglars, who then ran off.
“One resident called 911 while the other individual kept the bad guys in sight,” Cody said, and praised the residents for helping to catch the perpetrators and their getaway driver.
“We’re looking into that to see if it can tie into other burglaries in the area,” he said.
A piece of good news Cody delivered at the meeting is the installation of four cameras near the Ridgewood Savings Bank on Cypress Avenue.
“It’s almost like putting another police officer out on the street,” Cody said of the security cameras. “It’s a very good multiplier of our resources.”
Cody plans to meet in the future with local representatives about putting up more cameras, he said.