2008-10-24 / Front Page

Beat, Rob 92-Year-Old SFP Woman

By Howard Schwach

Three young thugs beat and robbed a 92-year-old Shore Front Parkway woman and ransacked her apartment before they fled, police say.

Florence Olstrom, of 107-10 Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Park, was safely asleep in her bed at about 1:15 a.m. on October 18 when she heard an insistent knocking on her door, police say.

Worried that somebody was in trouble, Olstrom opened her door and was immediately struck on her head with a blunt object, according to police sources.

She fell to the floor and saw three young men enter her apartment. She told police that the three began to ransack the apartment, going through her dresser drawers and closets.

Olstrom, who was only able to supply a vague description to police, crawled to a nearby phone and managed to call the 911 emergency system for help.

She told police that the young men saw her putting down the telephone, grabbed a few more items and fled the apartment.

Olstrom was conscious when police and EMS workers responded to her eighth floor apartment, and the description she provided was sent out to all the sector cars in the 101 and 100 Precincts, but no suspects were found.

Officers canvassed the building, going door to door, with negative results.

Police say that there were no active video cameras around the building and that there was no security guard on duty when the assault and robbery took place.

It was unclear how the men got into the building, because a special key is needed for entry.

One longtime tenant, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, told The Wave that the outside doors were often left open by people going to walk their dog or going to another building to do their laundry.

He says that he believes that the teens live in the building, however, and that the attack was "some sort of initiation rite" for a teen gang.

He decried the security provided by the building's owner, Alma Realty.

"Before the strike two years ago, we had real security in the building. Since then, we've had maintenance workers doing security and kids doing security, and there have been lots of problems."

The victim was transported to the Peninsula Hospital Center, where she remains listed in stable condition. Officials say that she suffered a contusion to her right eye and swelling to her forehead.

Detectives from the 100 Precinct Squad are investigating. Anybody with information about the crime is urged to call the squad at 718-318-4221.

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