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Working together: Precincts join forces to nab purse snatcher

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A little NYPD teamwork helped track down an 18-year-old thief responsible for three purse snatchings that took place at the height of the holiday shopping season.

Captain George Mastrokastas, the commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, outlined the joint effort to apprehend Sean Mamakas during a recent community council meeting, when anti-crime teams from both the 61st and the 60th precincts were honored.

Mastrokastas said that Mamakas, a resident of Sheepshead Bay, kicked off the month with two purse snatchings on December 1 and December 2 respectively. The teen’s first victim was an 89-year-old woman on East 2nd Street near Avenue W. He followed up his maiden heist by stopping a 58-year-old woman near the corner of East 4th Street and Angela Drive and running off with her bag.

It didn’t take long for police to recognize that the same man had committed both crimes. By December 3 the precinct’s anti-crime team was out looking for a man fitting the theif’s description.

Mamakas didn’t disappoint, officials said. By that afternoon he had bowled over a 65-year-old woman near the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue Z - near the border of Coney Island - and swiped her purse.

Within minutes both cops from the 61st Precinct and the 60th Precinct were responding to the 911 call and chasing Mamakas into a housing complex near the corner of Avenue Z and McDonald Avenue. Cops from the 60th Precinct ultimately apprehended Mamakas as he was caught running out of the complex, officials said.

Mastrokastas said that the excellent work of both anti-crime units helped stop a problem that, if left unattended, could have continued every day through the end of the year.

It’s the quick response to blossoming problems that have helped the 61st Precinct achieve the 26 percent in reduction in crime it’s celebrating this year, officials said.

As of December 27, the 61st Precinct was seeing drops in all major crime categories, the largest being homicide, which dropped from five to three (a 40 percent reduction) and robberies, which fell from 289 to 184 (a 36 percent fall).

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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