Perps targeting intoxicated people, police say
By Jessica Meditz
As the 104th Precinct prepares for what 2023 will bring, its Ridgewood sector still faces a problem carried over from 2022 – a strong-armed robbery pattern.
At the most recent 104th Precinct Community Council meeting, Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, Commanding Officer of the 104, told attendees that the series of robberies spans from the end of November, and consists of about 13 incidents.
They’ve taken place within the confines of both the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood and 83rd Precinct in Bushwick, in the vicinity of Fairview Avenue, Wyckoff Avenue, Hart Street and Putnam Avenue.
“This is happening on the midnight shift, really between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.,” Coleman said at the meeting. “People coming out of bars are kind of being targeted, and there’s two or three guys that approach someone from behind and either punch them or put them in a headlock, and then take their wallet, phone, or belongings.”
The 104th Precinct has been working closely with the 83rd Precinct to combat this issue, including setting up cameras to obtain footage of the perpetrators and deploying officers in the robbery zone.
“We have four brand new police officers in field training, and as of [this] week, we’re getting five new officers from this new class that just graduated,” Coleman said in an interview. “They’re out there visible, there’s foot posts out there with them, and they’re a component of the resources I’m putting in Ridgewood to address the problem.”
Coleman added that spreading awareness to locals is an important part of this action plan, and that the 104’s Crime Prevention Officer has visited nearby bars and other establishments to make them aware.
He also wants people in the community to be aware of their surroundings while they’re out late at night, whether it be for nightlife reasons, or simply coming home late from work.
“If you’re going out at night, you should travel with a group of people to ensure that everyone gets home safely, because all of our victims have been alone,” Coleman said. “I’d recommend, as always, to watch your consumption of drinking…because of the robbery pattern we’re concerned about people walking home. If you’re having a lot to drink, that can be dangerous for yourself, but you could also become the victim of a robbery.”
At the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting, he said that the precinct has a person of interest, and hopes to make an arrest as soon as possible.