Beware of ongoing phone scams: Capt. | Central/Mid/Western Queens News | #scams | #elderlyscams
Forest Hills and Rego Park have seen a 17.39 percent drop in crime through March 14 compared to the same time in 2020.
But Capt. Joseph Cappelmann, commander of the 112th Precinct, told the Chronicle he expects an uptick.
“Crime was extremely low for four or five months so you’re going to see little increases in crime week to week,” he said last Friday. “But obviously we’re going to work as hard as we can to keep crime to the level we’re accustomed to.”
Grand larcenies dropped from 81 to 65, though those still account for more than half the crimes in the precinct.
Cappelmann said the numbers are driven by shoplifting at malls and pharmacies. Another problem is phone scams, such as perpetrators pretending to be from Con Edison or the IRS, or telling people they got a job after a mock interview through an app, insisting they send a check for supplies and that they’ll send the money back.
“You’re unemployed and you see the prospect of having a job,” Cappelmann said. “They probably get very excited about it and sometimes you’re not thinking completely. I really don’t blame people. They’re looking for an honest living and someone is taking advantage.”
He also advised that if someone receives a call from someone claiming to be from a credit card company, hang up, check the phone number on the credit card and call.
Cappelmann said people of all ages are falling victim.
“In the past a lot of it had been elderly people but now what I’m seeing is a lot of people that aren’t that old falling victim to these scams,” he said, adding, “The more people they call, the more victims they’ll have. It’s a game of probability.”
Felony assaults remained even at 11, with the commander saying a lot are domestic situations. Nine of the 11 incidents have an associated arrest.
Vehicle thefts dropped from 10 to six and robberies decreased from 16 to 10. Rapes remained at one and there were no murders.
The only index crime to see an increase was burglaries, from 19 to 21.
Ten have been commercial burglaries, compared to three in the same period last year but Cappelmann said some arrests could bring the number down.
In late February, a man was placed under arrest and charged with 27 burglaries, including 10 in Forest Hills and Rego Park. He was also wanted for some in Manhattan and Brooklyn.