Top cops recover cash, bags of pot - Burglary in progress yields surprising haul

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Even criminals need police protection every once and a while.

Lucky for them, the police don’t check one’s criminal history before deciding to act.

That was just the case last June when cops were called to a burglary in progress on Albany Avenue in Flatlands.

What they didn’t know that Saturday morning was that the home being burglarized was the headquarters for a crew of neighborhood drug dealers.

As he presented “Cop of the Month” awards to Police Officer Ibrar Fazal, Deputy Inspector Frank Cangiarella, the commanding officer of the 63rd Precinct said that when Fazal and his partner Police Officer Christian Trischitta rolled up to the address, they were told that two men had already fled the building.

Two more thieves were inside, which spurred them into action.

Calling for backup, the two cops went in, where they found the thieves trying to escape the Albany Avenue home.

They apprehended the thieves without incident, but ended up with a few added bonuses.

Cangiarella said that the two officers also recovered large quantities of marijuana, as well as some drug money.

A search warrant later revealed more marijuana, plus over $68,000 in drug money, officials said.

“It was a burglary, but the perps were burglarizing other perps,” explained Lieutenant Robert Haley.

The awards given to Fazal and Trischitta were one of three sets of accolades to be given out at last week’s 63rd Precinct Community Council meeting.

Awards were also given out for “Cops of the Month” from May 2008, as well as September 2008.

The May 2008 awards were given out to Police Officers Andriy Ryabinin, Sam Brown and Leonard Mormimo, who recovered two pistols when they responded to a report of shots fired on Ralph Avenue.

Cangiarella explained that the officers arrived at the Ralph Avenue apartment building, located near Glenwood Road, just before midnight.

The officers and a sergeant immediately initiated a plan of action that led to two of them taking the elevator and two of them taking the stairs.

As they ascended the stairs, Brown and Ryabinin were confronted by the gunman, who dropped his weapons and tried to escape.

The officers, now with the assistance of Mormimo and the sergeant, struggled with the gunman and took him into custody without incident.

No injuries were reported, officials said.

Mormimo was called up once again during the 63rd Precinct Community Council meeting, this time to receive a “Cop of the Month” award for September.

Cangiarella told council members that Mormimo and Police Officer Patrick Terlonge were being honored for arresting a mugger who had robbed a woman’s Bluetooth ear piece.

The woman said that she was on East 40th Street near Overbaugh Place in Flatlands that afternoon when the thief grabbed her by the throat.

He reportedly choked the woman and then ran off with her earpiece.

Despite being shaken and injured, the young woman was able to flag down Mormimo and Terlonge, who were patrolling the neighborhood at the time.

The two officers began searching the area, finding and arresting the thief without incident, Cangiarella explained, adding that the dedication of all of the “Cops of the Month” were responsible for the overall three percent drop in crime that the 63rd Precinct is currently experiencing.

The 63rd Precinct protects residents in Flatlands, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Bergen Beach, Georgetown and Marine Park.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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