Ridge officer recognized as Cop of the Month for key collar

A 68th Precinct police officer snagged Cop of the Month honors for October by catching a thief suspected of targeting the contents of cars parked on local streets.

Police Officer Juan Cruz went out to look for car break-ins following the September community council meeting when residents had complained about such incidents, the precinct’s commanding officer, Captain Joseph Hayward, told residents gathered at the precinct, 333 65th Street, for the monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 19.

“Officer Cruz observed an individual we had been targeting,” Hayward explained. “He was also wanted for a grand larceny. At 16, the perpetrator had six prior arrests, all having to do with drugs or car break-ins. Since this individual and three other individuals have been arrested for car break-ins, the car break-ins have declined.”

A member of the nighttime anticrime team with over seven years on the force, Cruz “has made over 250 arrests,” said Hayward.

“While we sleep comfortably at night, Officer Cruz is deployed to problematic areas of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton,” he stressed, along with the rest of the anticrime team, specifically targeting “individuals we know are causing violence, selling drugs or stealing property.”

Cruz is poised to be promoted to sergeant.


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