Stolen GPS systems are becoming very common in the Bronx and the 49th Precinct took a big step in stopping the crime after a culprit was caught red-handed near the precinct.
According to the 49th Precinct’s crime statistics, cars being broken into is the number one crime complaint in the Morris Park, Van Nest, Pelham Parkway, Allerton and Pelham Gardens neighborhoods. Captain Kevin Nicholson and the precinct’s other officers have been on the lookout for any activity.
While making his routine night patrol of the surrounding neighborhoods on Monday, January 24, Officer Farrell Goldman, along with his partner Officer Vladimir Delgado, spotted a car across from 2025 Eastchester Road that appeared to have been recently violated and immediately searched the surrounding streets for the thief.
After turning onto Wilkinson Avenue, off of Eastchester Road, Officer Goldman noticed a suspicious man walking quickly, wearing a backpack and arrested him at 11:30 p.m. after finding three GPS systems in the bag. All three were confirmed as being stolen, including one from the car that had just been broken into.
The crook, 35-year-old Hector Rodriguez, was arrested at 11:30 p.m. He has a history of criminal activity, with six arrests involving drug possession and robbery and is currently facing charges forallegedlybreaking into the car on Eastchester Road.
For his diligent work in tracking down the robber immediately after the breakin, Officer Goldman, who has been with the 49th Precinct for four years, was awarded the 49th Precinct’s ‘Cop of the Month’ award for the month of February.
“We were driving down the street and happened to notice that the car had a broken window,” Goldman said. “It looked like the car was just broken into so I knew whoever did it couldn’t have gotten far and we were fortunate to find a suspicious male walking the surrounding streets and were able to arrest him without any problem.”
Captain Nicholson is trying his best in notifying residents that GPS systems are one of the most common items taken when cars are broken into. Even if a robber can’t actually see the device through the window, he or she might break into the car if they can see a GPS holder on the windshield or dashboard.
“Stolen items from cars is the biggest issue we deal with in the precinct and we will continue to be on constant watch,” Nicholson said. “Officer Goldman performed admirably in being able to stop the suspect near the scene of the crime and has since been awarded a higher role in our burglary department.”