Monday, September 21, 2009

Queens Chronicle - Star Cops Arrest Alleged Car Thief by Stephen Geffon - Queens Chronicle

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106th Precinct Officers Thomas Underwood, second from left, and Mario Giordano, not in picture, were honored with the 106th Precinct’s Cop of the Month award for August 2009. At the ceremony are Captain Craig Adelman, left, Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis and 106th Precinct Community Council President Frank Dardani.

On Thursday, Aug. 13 at 1 a.m., a community resident left her keys in the ignition while filling up her car at the Sunoco Service Station on Crossbay Blvd. and Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park. As her attention was diverted, a man jumped in the car and took off. Determined to get her car back, she flagged a taxicab and instructed the driver to follow her car. The resident called 911 from her cell phone and directed police to the chase. Officers from the 106th Precinct caught up with the alleged car thief near the Queens-Brooklyn border, where they were joined by police from the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn.

When the alleged car thief started driving in an erratic manner, possibly endangering other drivers and pedestrians, a police supervisor from the 75th called off the pursuit. However, Officers Thomas Underwood and Mario Giordano continued to canvass the area. A short while later, they spotted the stolen vehicle parked with its lights off and the suspect inside.

With the assistance of 75th Precinct officers, who blocked the vehicle, Underwood and Giordano arrested the suspected car thief. The apprehension went so smoothly that the suspect commented, “Where did you guys come from?” police said.

According to Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis, the 106th Precinct’s commanding officer, the suspect had 24 prior arrests.

He commended Underwood and Giordano for their good work at last week’s 106th Precinct’s Community Council meeting, presenting them with the Cop of the Month award for August.