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Seven crime-busters saluted at 61st Police Precinct

Call them the magnificent seven: Two 61st Precinct police crews were honored by the 61st Precinct Community Council recently for not only bringing a gunman to justice, but for also stopping a livery cab thief before he could flag down another victim.

The crime-fighting septet were all named “Cops of the Month” recently during the first council meeting after summer hiatus at the Bainbridge Center, 3093 Ocean Avenue.

Addressing the council, Captain George Mastrokostas, the commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, singled out Police Officer Eddie Vargas and Sean Carlton for apprehending a gunman wanted for opening fire on a group of people at the Sheepshead/Nostrand Houses a month earlier.

The two officers were on patrol back on August 31 when they spotted the suspect, who detectives had identified weeks earlier, walking through the neighborhood.

The gunman was taken into custody after a brief pursuit, said Mastrokostas, who said that the suspect is currently facing attempted murder charges.

Sergeant Sal Carolla and Police Officers Katie Coyle, Suzanne Taha, Matt Perrone and Joe Breder also received “Cop of the Month” kudos for apprehending a man who mugged a livery cab driver of his receipts after being brought to a spot in the 61st Precinct.

The thief was apprehended after a search of the area, Mastrokostas explained as he credited the awardees, as well as all of the other cops in the 61st Precinct, for helping to bring about one of the safest summers on record.

“Everything went well. We hope we can repeat it again next year,” he said.

The precinct has also seen a drop in felony crime for the year. According to NYPD CompStat statistics, crime fell by 24 percent. The number of robberies in the command fell by 36 percent.

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

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