Ten people have been arrested for stealing aluminum railings and expensive rain forest Ipe boardwalk wood belonging to the Parks Department. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.
By Geoffrey Croft
Park Enforcement Police and NYPD and have made multiple arrests for people stealing material from the the Rockaway beach boardwalk destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, NYC Park Advocates has learned.
As aluminum prices continue to rise at least ten thieves have been caught stealing aluminum railings and expensive rain forest Ipe boardwalk wood belonging to the Parks Department.
Police in the 100th Pct. have also written at least a dozen summonses for people stealing items on the street to be sold as scrap metal.
On December 11th, a park manager alerted Park Enforcement Patrol officers that someone was stealing items at B. 108th Street. When officers approached they saw Lambert Toussint, 48, from Queens loading up aluminum railings into a van. They also saw stolen wood boardwalk slats in the vehicle. He admitted he was going to sell the railing as scrap metal. Toussint was charged with Trespassing and Petty Larceny.
On December 1st, parks workers alerted PEP patrol cops that three people - two females and a male were removing railing and wood from the boardwalk at Beach 111th Street and Ocean Promenade, (the boardwalk) at 12:10 p.m.
PEP approached and found the trio from Brooklyn loading the metal railing (aluminum) and wood from the boardwalk into a 2001 Isuzzu truck which they borrowed from a friend in Pennsylvania. When cops approached they admitted they were going to sell the salvaged materials for scrap.
PEP arrested Sanchez Flores, 18 from Harman Street in Brooklyn, Alejandria Hernandez, , 18, from Park St. Bk (her first arrest) and Patricia Gonzelez, 18 also from Harman St.
All were charged with criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny.
On November 30th, NYPD arrested Luis Justiniano - 42, Roberto Bencosme - 43 and Basilio Delarosa - 50 at B. 108th Street for stealing stealing aluminum railings from destroyed boardwalk at 3:30pm. They were charge with Criminal Mischief.
On November 27th Police arrested two and on November 28th police arrested 1 person.
The property was recovered in all of the arrests.
On another occasion - PEP officers saw a man with a U-Haul truck collecting boardwalk wood. They asked him what he was doing and he said he was going to use it for his floor.
"'The Parks Department is going to destroy them anyway,'" he said according to a law enforcement source.
Other Beach News
In addition losing many patrol vehicles and officers' personal cars to the storm, the 100th Pct also lost four ATV scooters used for beach patrol on the sand. The Pct. received them last season and four were the most they ever had. They have made the request for new ones at Police headquarters and are awaiting delivery.
Lights Still Out. It is totally dark along Shore Front Parkway, fronting beach between Beach 74 and 82nd St. Beach as all the street lights wee knocked out. The DOT is working on getting new light poles.