2006-08-04 / Front Page

Boardwalk Crime Heats Up In Summer

By Brian Magoolaghan

Police lead one of the teens accused of using a toy gun to rob a man on the boardwalk in Edgemere on July 19.Police lead one of the teens accused of using a toy gun to rob a man on the boardwalk in Edgemere on July 19. Crime on the boardwalk is heating up as the simmering summer weather brings people to the beach for relief and recreation.

Three teenagers were arrested July 19 after they used a toy gun to mug a man on the boardwalk in Edgemere, according to police.

The teens, age 13, 14 and 15, allegedly rode up to their 43-year-old victim on bicycles as the man was jogging near Beach 37 Street at about 7 p.m. One of the teens flashed the weapon and told the man "give up your money," police said. The teenagers fled westbound with an undisclosed sum of money but were caught a few blocks away by officers from the 101 Precinct.

The victim identified the teens, whose names are being withheld because they are juveniles. Their charges were not available. Officers searched the area and found the toy gun the teens allegedly pulled on the man.

Beach 52 Street and the boardwalk was the scene of another mugging June 5 in which two teenagers kicked a 17-year-old male in his face and back and then stripped him of his cell phone, according to court records.

Gary A. Fields, 17, and Tino M. Lopez, 17, got away on foot but were arrested days later and charged with two counts of robbery after the attack, which sent the victim to a local hospital.

The boardwalk at Beach 60 Street was the scene of a murder on June 18 when a 19-year-old man allegedly shot a 26-year-old acquaintance. The alleged gunman was arrested three days later and is charged with murder and criminal weapons possession, according to a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

The west end of the peninsula has also seen its share of crime on the boardwalk. Three teenagers from St. John's Residence for Boys were arrested June 20 after they allegedly assaulted a 51-year-old man in Belle Harbor and then robbed a teenager at gunpoint on Beach 114 Street.

The double incident and the report of an armed suspect sparked an all-out search for the teens. Police arrested two 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old who they said would be charged with armed robbery, assault, resisting arrest, weapons possession and stolen property possession charges.

Crime prevention experts recommend concealing valuables and abiding by the safety in numbers principle when people are in public spaces like the boardwalk or street. Brochures on safety and crime prevention are available at the 100 and 101 Precinct stationhouses.

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