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Mint condition: Crime fighting team takes down gunmen

It was a perfect triple play and it wasn’t even baseball season.

An elite group of cops received some much deserved kudos last week for apprehending three gun-toting goons found walking through the streets of Flatbush.

The officers, members of the 70th Precinct’s Conditions Team, were patrolling by the corner of Dorchester Avenue and East 21st Street last week when they saw the three men acting suspiciously.

When they were approached, the suspects ran off, only to be arrested after a brief pursuit.

A firearm was recovered off of each man, two of whom lived in the community, Inspector Ralph Monteforte, the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct, told community council members last week.

“All three of the men have arrest histories,” said Monteforte, who added that the Conditions Team was responsible for over 400 arrests last year. “They are one of the reasons why this precinct continues to see reductions in crime.”

The team, comprised of Sergeant Joseph Durante and Police Officers Raymond Higgins, John Ryan, Michael LoBosco and Joseph Wernesbach, have been together for about a year and a half. They work all hours, which are dictated by rising crime trends.

Monteforte said that the Conditions Team is a major asset in reducing crime, which has seen a drop of 7.5 percent so far this year.

“We have seen an increase in felony assaults,” Monteforte admitted, adding that the assaults don’t seem to be part of a particular trend or pattern.

“The assaults are all different and take place in different places,” Monteforte said. “They’re happening in restaurants, beauty salons, they’re hit with objects and some are domestic.”

Most of the assaults happen indoors, he said. While attacks of this nature are hard to predict, Monteforte said that he and his officers were looking at different ways to disarm the attacks before they happen, such as crack down on people with illegal knives and step up precinct domestic violence outreach efforts, adding to the more than 1,000 home visits cops from their domestic violence office did last year.

According to NYPD statistics, robberies were down 22 percent for the year. The largest reduction was in burglaries, which fell by 42 percent.

The 70th Precinct protects residents in Midwood and Flatbush.

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