Officers honored for breaking robbery pattern case

May 22, 2013 Denise Romano
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Three police officers from the 62nd Precinct were honored for collaring a serial robber and breaking a crime pattern at the 62nd Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, May 21.

Deputy Inspector James Rooney, commanding officer of the precinct, feted Sergeant Angel Figueroa, Police Officer Eric Smith and Police Officer Alex Kajewski for arresting a male wanted for several robberies and burglaries in three different precincts.

Rooney explained that the 62nd Precinct has had a pattern of cell phone robberies involving young people exiting the subway. Last year, robberies increased by 48 percent, but from the beginning of 2013 to date, robberies are already up 60 percent, due to this pattern. Rooney said that extra officers were put on trains to deter any thieves.

On Thursday, April 18, there were two robberies along the D and M subway line. Figueroa, who leads the anti-crime unit’s evening shift, received a call about a third victim, a 14-year-old Asian male walking northbound on New Utrecht Avenue towards 82nd Street.

The victim heard footsteps and when he turned around, a black male put a firearm to his chest and said, “Run your pockets.” The victim complied, handing the perp his iPhone 4 and $400 in cash.

Figueroa, Smith and Kajewski were able to track the phone to 16th Avenue and Cropsey Avenue. When they arrived at the location, the victim positively identified the perp, who was arrested.

Officers were able to recover the firearm at the corner, where they found the gun in a garbage can. In addition, the victim’s cash was found in the perp’s pocket.

The suspect – a 23-year-old black male living within the confines of the 76th Precinct – just took a plea deal on Monday, May 20 for two to four years in prison for his crimes.

Rooney noted that Figueroa has done an “outstanding” job in the two years he has been at the 62nd Precinct.

“He has done a phenomenal job,” Rooney said, adding that Figueroa will likely be advanced to lieutenant during the next round of promotions.

At the next 62nd Precinct Community Council meeting, the 35th annual Michael J. Ferraro Awards will be given out for community service. The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Finbar’s auditorium, on Bath Avenue and Bay 20th Street.

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