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61st Police Precinct salutes keen eyes

The November “Cops of the Month” honored by the 61st Precinct Community Council all have one thing in common — they have a keen eye for cars.

For it was Police Officers Robert Lassen, Peter Uzzi and Mark Crawford’s eagle eyes and quick action that helped rid the streets of over a half-dozen thieves back in October, Captain George Mastrokastas, the commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, explained.

When handing out “Cop of the Month” certificates to the distinguished officers, Mastrokastas said that Lassen, whose patrol duties include Manhattan Beach, was responsible for nabbing five thieves who had just robbed a young man on his way home from school.

The victim told police that he was nearing the corner of Oriental Boulevard and Oxford Street on October 15 when a car rolled up to him.

Three men exited the car, robbed him of his cash and cell phone at gunpoint and jumped back into the vehicle as it peeled off down the street.

The victim managed to contact police and give a description of the car, which Lassen spotted during a careful search of the surrounding streets.

The thieves — five in all — were pulled over on Emmons Avenue and taken into custody, said Mastrokastas, adding that an imitation pistol was also recovered from the car.

On the following night, Police Officers Uzzi and Crawford helped nab two thieves responsible for car-jacking a Chinese food deliveryman in Flatlands.

The suspects reportedly held up their victim of both his delivery and his car keys, and then started a mini-robbery spree.

Hearing the description, Uzzi and Crawford kept their eyes out for the stolen vehicle, which they ultimately found idling near the corner of Kings Highway and Nostrand Avenue.

The officers confronted and collared the three men with the car, charging them with robbery. Additional weapons charges were filed when two guns were found in the car.

A short time later, the officers discovered that these thieves had held up another man on Brigham Street and Avenue V.

It’s believed that the thieves were about to hold up their third victim when Uzzi and Crawford intervened, Mastrokastas explained, adding that their quick arrest may have saved several people from being victimized that night.

“I’m proud of the work these cops have done,” he said, adding that the two arrests were a small example of the hard work and dedication the officers from the 61st Precinct demonstrate every day.

The 61st Precinct protects residents in Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Homecrest and parts of Midwood.

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