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Fall 2017 Intersections Speaker Series Recap

NYPD Commanding Officers Brendan Timoney and Christopher Flanagan discussed district safety, neighborhood conditions, and combating identity theft as part of the BID's Intersections program, focused on information, ideas, and our community, on October 17.

“One of the most important components of our Public Safety program is the relationship we have with the 13th Precinct,” said Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “We’re very happy today to talk about safety and security in the neighborhood.”

This is the ninth year of the BID’s Intersections Speaker Series. The free event—held at TD Bank at 260 Park Avenue South—drew residents and business representatives from the Flatiron District.

The event began with a presentation by Deputy Inspector Timoney, Commanding Officer of the 13th Precinct. He noted that serious incidents in the district have significantly declined, with an overall drop of 11% in seven major crime categories.

Timoney talked about NYPD’s cabaret team, which addresses nightlife issues, and offered advice on how to prevent commercial and residential burglaries. Recommendations included ensuring air conditioning units are properly secured, buildings provide secure spaces for delivery packages, and that gym-goers leave valuables at home when working out.

“Shoplifting is a major, major thing in this area, especially along Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue,” he said, noting that smartphone theft has been a recurring problem.

Deputy Inspector Christopher Flanagan, Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s Financial Crimes Task Force, next detailed multiple ways thieves can steal identities - and ultimately, money - through credit card scams, check fraud, counterfeiting, ATM skimming devices, business email compromises (including spoofed emails), and phishing and phone scams.

Flanagan described a new trend, where thieves are devising devices to reach into mailboxes to extract mail, stealing checks, and then washing them with chemicals in order to fill them out with new information.

“What perps are doing is stealing checks from mailboxes, using glue traps, relatively ingenious devices,” he said. Deputy Inspector Flanagan recommended using online payments when available and practicing diligence about any unsolicited payments received in the mail. “Do not accept checks if you don’t know where they are coming from.” 

“I will tell you your data has already been stolen,” he cautioned. “It’s a matter of waiting until someone uses it.” His final recommedation was to regularly monitor bank statements, credit card bills, and credit reports.

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Introducing @leonellinyc’sFocacceria e Pasticceria 🍩☕️a bakery/cafe bringing the traditional Italian pastry shop to the neighborhood #DiscoverFlatiron #LeonelliNYC . Link in bio for details ⤴️ . 📸: @lmbittner
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