“We are happy to serve as part of the NCO program, it’s an asset to the community and a genuine way of outreach for us,” said Police Officer Tyler Scalla.
Two Neighborhood Coordinating Officers (NCOs) in Jackson Heights, Queens noticed an increase in late night car break-ins in the area they patrol and took steps to find the person responsible. Police Officer Scalla and Police Officer Leibold spread the word about what was occurring with local residents and reminded them about not leaving valuables in their car. The officers also raised safety awareness by posting flyers in local stores.
Noting that the incidents occurred overnight, the officers changed their tours so that they could focus on the break-ins. Their big break came after watching numerous surveillance videos that they had collected from the area. With the help of the 115 Precinct’s Detective Squad and their knowledge of local recidivists, the two police officers identified a possible suspect.
Just after midnight on Tuesday, August 15 they observed the man on 82 Street in the area that many of the crimes had occurred. They stopped to question him and subsequently arrested the suspect after their investigation revealed he was wanted on an outstanding warrant. The 39-year-old man was found in possession of stolen property from one of the break-ins and was later charged with eight counts of petit larceny and grand larceny for car break-ins within the confines of the 115 and 110 Precincts in Queens.
“This incident demonstrates the power of the NCO program and the collaborative effort between the Detective Squad and the NCOs,” said Lieutenant Steven Weiss, the commanding officer of the 115 Precinct Detective Squad.