2012-08-03 / Letters

No Crime Too Small

Dear Editor,

As a Far Rockaway resident, I am writing this letter to express my concern with the poor treatment I received at the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, NY.

I am a victim of credit / debit card fraud which seems to be a frequent crime amongst New Yorkers. A thief stole my identity and made numerous charges all in small increments all while the card was still in my possession. The discovery of this crime was made by me on Sunday, July 15 at approximately 1:00 p.m. I called my bank and they immediately deactivated the card. The bank advised me to go to my local branch in order to go over all the charges made on my bank statement.

At the bank I discovered that after the card was deactivated due to fraud the thief attempted to use my information again in local malls, shopping centers, gas stations, shoe stores, etc. The bank representative gathered all of the information and told me to bring it to the local authorities so they can start an investigation and maybe even catch the person who has done this.

After being advised by my TD BANK representative at my local branch I went to the 101 Precinct on Monday, July 16, 2012 at approximately 6:00 p.m. to make a report. I was told by an officer that he could not file a report until I obtained an affidavit from my bank and had it notarized.

The next day I went to my bank and obtained the needed information, had it notarized and brought it back to the 101 Precinct. This time I was greeted by the clerk who asked me what happened. I explained to him what happened and gave him all the documents the bank had given me. All documents had evidence as to where the thief was using the card and the date/time it was used.

The clerk seemed uninterested in my story and stated that he hears stories like this all the time. He also questioned why I didn’t look at my bank statement. And he stated that he started looking at his bank statement every day since he has been working in the precinct. I explained something like this never happened to me before and I had possession of my card and could not fathom such a crime.

I made numerous attempts to show him all the evidence the bank had compiled and asked if after the report was filed if cameras would be seized at the suspect locations of fraud. He simply told me, “No,” he stated that even if they seize the cameras the image would be blurry and they would not be able to find the person based on that image. He said this is not TV and they would not be able to find the person who has done this nor would he be able to guarantee that a detective would even take the case.

He stated the detectives were swamped with more important crimes.

At this point I was shocked that a person would be able to get away with such a horrendous crime in the state of New York and we informed him that we would do our own investigation since the police could and would not help.

He told us to go right ahead. He continued to look at the affidavit and stated that they were all small amounts and that he could not determine the severity of the crime.

At this point he was very dismissive and said “well you have to go back to the bank and give us a total of the amount that was stolen.” The affidavit clearly stated the amounts but he wanted to see a grand total before he filed a police report. Frustrated that a report would not be done and the fact that this was my second appearance at the police station, I asked him to please tell me his name.

He refused.

I continually asked him and he would NOT tell me his name. I was with my mother who also asked for his name and he refused. He then got up and called Officer Simco #22552 after we said we would write a letter to the newspaper.

Office Simco stated that unfortunately we would have to go back to the bank and obtain a grand total of the amount stolen. He was also very dismissive with us and seemed as if he just wanted us to leave.

I am very discouraged and saddened that something like this would occur. And I feel like nothing will be done on my behalf. It is not so much about the money, a crime had taken place and others may be affected. I was told that when there is a crime we should call the police and report it, but what for? If your crime is small is it not just as important?

Is it okay for someone to steal my identity?

This is the main reason why such crimes occur today because they know nothing will be done.

PORSCHA ALMONOR

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