June 26, By Jason Cohen
While the crime rate continues to remain low in Forest Hills, there were a series of random crimes in the past month such as stolen airbags, stolen bicycles and phone scams.
Deputy Inspector Robert Ramos, Commanding officer of the 112th Precinct, said last Wednesday that six airbags were ripped from cars between May 13 to June 3 from vehicles parked along the Grand Central Parkway Service Road between 62nd and 64th Avenues.
Ramos said the vehicles were Hondas and Nissans and the thieves have been pulling them out of the steering wheels. The suspects have been breaking into the cars at night.
Ramos said this crime was big 20 years ago but there hasn’t been much of it since until now. A thief is able to sell an airbag for about $500 a piece.
There were several bicycle thefts in Forest Hills in the past month.
Two were taken from Queens Blvd., two on Austin Street and one on 110th Street. Additionally, on June 18, an individual broke into a garage on 110th Street and 67th Road and stole two bikes. Using video cameras from the area, police have identified a suspect.
Phone scams continue to be an issue in the district as well. On June 9, a man received a call from a person claiming to be his grandson saying he was in central booking and needed money to be bailed out. The “grandson” said he needed the victim to buy two gift cards for $8,400 and provide him with the numbers on the back of the card.
The victim complied and when he called up his grandson to make sure he was released he discovered that his grandson was never in jail and he was scammed.
Also, on June 12, a 28-year-old female received what she thought was an email from the IRS. The email said there was a warrant for her arrest unless she purchased Best Buy gift cards for $1,430 and provide the pin numbers to the number in the email. She bought the cards and fell for the scam as well.
Ramos stressed that if anyone receives a call like this it is important to verify it is really that person.
“These people are very good at what they do,” Ramos said. “They know how to scare you.”