Robberies, burglaries up in the 13th Precinct

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The number of robberies and burglaries within the confines of the 13th Precinct have spiked in the last month, although crime in the last 28-day period is down 31 percent overall.

The precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, reported the increases at the most recent 13th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday night, noting that robberies are up 33 percent and burglaries are up 44 percent. This includes a number of bank robberies and Timoney said this isn’t just a local problem.

“We’ve been seeing these significant robberies all over the city, not just in the 13th, but we have a great record of arresting these guys,” he said.

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Cops warn of holiday season spike in thefts and ongoing scams

Dec19 holiday market 2012

The Union Square Holiday Market (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police from the 13th Precinct are advising members of the community to stay alert now that the holiday shopping season is here.

The precinct’s executive officer, Bennett Kalicovic, discussed the issue at a 13th Precinct Community Council meeting this past Tuesday.

Kalicovic said that the precinct is working with the Flatiron BID and the Union Square Partnership to curb thefts and the precinct is working on high visibility, especially in areas for shopping. He noted that shoppers should be aware of their immediate surroundings and should never leave their bags unattended but added that residents should also be protective of their identities because of the recent increases in IRS and identity theft scams.

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Local pols, Rick Hayduk will speak at Oct. 22 ST-PCV Tenants Association meeting

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association will hold an open tenants meeting on Saturday, October 22, at 1 p.m. in the auditorium of IS 104, 20th Street between First and Second Avenues.Speakers will include: President of the ST-PCV Tenants Association Susan Steinberg, City Council Member Dan Garodnick, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Rick Hayduk, CEO/General Manager of StuyTown Property Services. The general theme will be the state of the community. Each speaker will briefly address issues as they directly relate to and affect Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, from the L train shutdown to the telephone scams targeting the community, from MCIs to rent-freeze month. An open-mic question-and-answer period will follow.

“Tenants will want to hear from our own elected representatives as to what they have been doing on our behalf,” said Steinberg. “We also plan to provide a summary of TA activities during the year. This is an important meeting, and we hope to see a packed auditorium.”

IRS scammers get even nastier

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

As Town & Village has reported on from time to time, since November of last year, residents of the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village area have been targeted by scammers calling them, pretending to be from the IRS or the Department of the Treasury. However, the scam calls have been an ongoing problem not just in the neighborhood but around the country.

While the perpetrators, believed to work from overseas, have been very hard for police to track, a representative from the Crime Strategist Unit, prosecutor Kaitrin Roberts, said it’s been a top priority for local as well as federal officials.

Roberts spoke at last Tuesday’s meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council, where a question about whether the 30 or so community members in the audience were familiar with the scam drew quite a few chuckles in response.

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Letters to the Editor, July 14

June23 Toon Everest

Time to do something about noise in Stuy Town

The following is an open letter to Stuyvesant Town management with regards to noise in the complex and following it is a response from Rick Hayduk, general manager. Both letters have been edited for length.

The violations of (city law on noise control) are as follows:

Beeping, powerful, motorized gas engine maintenance vehicles that are constantly travelling through the development.

The loud, echoing playground basketball courts (Playground #11) right beside the Avenue C Loop and several other buildings, and directly below apartment windows, that remains open daily from 9 a.m. until dusk, circus tented from November to April, which are absurd hours of usage and which is utilized by very few compared to the total number of 30,000 residents. Because there are basketball courts in Playground #9, the Playground #11 should be relegated to only volleyball courts, more of which can be added, and the current ping pong tables. PCV/ST is not a day camp, a boys/girls club, a country club, etc. It is meant to be a noiseless, unique community.

Loud, roaring leaf blowers, which create noises comparable to being in a construction zone.

Barking dogs, banging/flipping skateboarders, shouting residents in the late evenings or early mornings, and loud, noisy maintenance workers who have no regard for tenants’ quality of life.

Maintenance workers removing the garbage from in between the Avenue C Loop, in the morning hours, using loud, wheeled carts to transport the garbage to the waiting truck in the street, shouting while they do it, then loudly throwing the bottle filled bags onto the trucks. There needs to be different wheels on the carts and the workers advised to be quiet.

All the sounds, even conversations, travel up into the surrounding apartments. There should be an instituted policy, with rules, signs in the street and on the sidewalks, and written guidelines, including enforcement by security/NYPD, to eliminate undue noise nuisances. I have a home office and patrons visit my apartment on occasion. They expect a quiet environment and so do I.

Thank you for your prompt attention to these matters.

Stuart J. Levinson, ST

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Letters to the Editor, July 7

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Zero % increase for stabilized tenants

To the Editor:

I’ve been listening to several of my neighbors, all rent stabilized, and something doesn’t add up.

We’ve had three apartments in and out over the last several years. My current neighbors, finishing up their lease, pay twice as much as me.  Once they’re gone, the new occupant(s) may pay closer to three times as much as me.

And who would argue that this increase per apartment isn’t happening on every floor of every building in both Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village?

Now, if you take the average age of all the rent stabilized tenants, it’s got to be closer to 80 than 60. So given that management is making such an enormous vig on all of the many new tenants, why wouldn’t the stabilized tenants be stabilized at their rents permanently? Management isn’t going to buy them out.

There’s no other stabilized housing in the city where half of the stock is luxury at unlimited turnover at unregulated increases.

Rentals to new tenants is tantamount to scooping up money with both hands. Raises to stabilized guidelines is tantamount to picking up bottles for their return deposits.

Zero increase for the lifetime of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village’s stabilized tenants.

Billy Sternberg, ST

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Round two for IRS scam calls

By Sabina Mollot

Throughout this week, a few readers of Town & Village alerted us to the fact that an overseas phone scam, in which the callers pretend to be from the IRS while threatening people with lawsuits or even arrest, had returned to the Stuy Town/Peter Cooper neighborhood.

One of the readers, a Stuy Town senior, told T&V the calls had even seemed to get more aggressive because they’ve become more frequent — annoying her five times in a span of three days.

“They keep saying this is my final warning. I wish it would be,” she fumed. “It’s very threatening. It’s 8-9 in the morning.”

While the resident said she thought the call sounded ridiculous, like others who called us, she was more concerned about others who might get frightened by the mention of the IRS. “Maybe some people will still get scared and send them money,” she said.

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Residents threatened with arrest in latest scam

 

ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg

ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg was one of the recipients of a call currently targeting the community. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
Last week, Town & Village reported on a phone scam in which the caller claims to be from the IRS and suing the person being called. While variations on the scam have been reported nationwide for some time, there seemed to be a recent rash of phone calls to Peter Cooper Village residents.

Meanwhile, this week, a similar, but even more sinister phone scam has hit Stuyvesant Town.

One resident who received a call was ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg. Like in the previous scam, the caller used a computer generated, female voice when leaving a message on the answering machine. From that voice, however, came a no-nonsense threat of arrest to the person being called over allegations of tax fraud. The caller claimed to be Officer Smith from the United States Treasury who was warning that this was a final notice before the case ends up in Federal Claims Court or an arrest.

“Make sure you call us as soon as possible,” the voice added, after making the arrest threat. The call came from what appeared to be a Los Angeles-based number.

“Why would someone in Los Angeles call New York about tax fraud?” asked Steinberg, who was aware of the scam, and certainly didn’t buy it.

However, she wondered if the perpetrators knew something about the ages of the people they were calling.

“I don’t know if they have statistics on age, but I suspect they’re targeting people who are older,” she said.

Another resident who got the call around the same time as Steinberg, on Tuesday afternoon, also said she wouldn’t be calling back.

The resident, Kay Vota, said she read about the IRS scam in T&V last week, and guessed the scammers were “getting found out. So they’re going to change the way they’re doing it.”

A rep for the IRS last week told T&V said the unknown perps of that scam work from overseas, using technology to change their caller ID to make it seem as though the number is coming from Washington, DC or another local area. Once in contact with a mark, they’ve been known to threaten to sue or deport a victim or put liens on their properties if they don’t make payments using prepaid debit cards or other untraceable means of transfer.

As for the “Department of Treasury” calls, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General has issued a warning online at http://www.treasury.gov, confirming that they are from scammers.

“These callers have been described as threatening or abusive, and tell victims they need to make immediate payment to forestall arrest.  THESE ARE FRAUDS.  PLEASE EXERCISE CAUTION IN YOUR DEALINGS WITH ANYONE PURPORTING TO BE FROM A GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND DEMANDING MONEY OR INFORMATION,” the alert said.

It also mentioned a similar scam in which call recipients are told they’re getting grants, but then told they must pay a fee so that the funds are released.

“Likewise, e-mails promising a sum of money and purporting to be from the Treasury Secretary or his staff are false,” it said.

A spokesperson for the department said he couldn’t comment on the call without hearing it, but referred to the online alert.