Officers honored for collaring career criminals

October 19, 2012 Denise Romano
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Four police officers were honored at the 62nd Precinct Community Council’s monthly meeting on October 16 as Cops of the Month for arresting individuals responsible for a rash of cell phone thefts and rampant auto break-ins.

Deputy Inspector James Rooney announced that crime had increased in the precinct by five percent from last year, “being fueled” by robberies and grand larcenies, predominantly involving cell phones.

To close this pattern, Rooney explained that he is adding more anti-violence officers to the midnight to 7 a.m. shift for the purpose of observing problematic bars, clubs and bodegas.

“There was a very, very quick spike in robberies, mostly involving electronics [that started] between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.,” explained Special Operations Lieutenant Jim Guercio. “We identified a pattern and trend through mapping and were able to pinpoint an area that the perp was focused on.”

The perp was following victims exiting from the Bay Parkway N train station. He would come up from behind forcefully with a knife, tell them not to turn around, and take their phone.

Police Officers Eric Smith, And Narayan and Supervisor of the Conditions Team, Sergeant Angel Figueroa were “strategically deployed” wearing plainclothes and in unmarked cars at the train station during these overnight hours.

On Wednesday October 3 at 1 a.m., the officers spotted a male who matched a vague description of the perp in the area. When they apprehended him, they found him with a kitchen knife.

The suspect in question is 40-year-old Miguel Perez, who has a prior history of kidnapping and assault, and is wanted in the state of Massachusetts.

“Four people identified him and he was in possession of a victim’s MetroCard and used the same victim’s credit card to fill it up,” Guercio said.

Perez was indicted on four counts of robbery and grand larceny and is being held on $100,000 bail. Originally from Boston, Perez migrated to Brooklyn about three months ago.

“These officers did a great job and that’s why they are being honored as Cops of the Month,” Guercio said.

Police Officer Michael Birzin was also honored at the meeting for collaring a career criminal.

Birzin observed a car driving erratically during the early morning hours of Thursday, October 4 on Cropsey Avenue near Bay 17th Street.

When he stopped the vehicle and identified the occupants, Birzin discovered that one of them had been arrested 12 times, seven in the immediate area, for auto break-ins.

“This is guy was a nuisance to Bensonhurst,” Guercio said of the suspect. “Sergeant Birzin is exactly what we are looking for [when it comes to] mentoring officers.”

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