102 Precinct honors cops for nabbing car thieves
by Lisa A. Fraser
Jan 27, 2012 | 665 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left to right: Officer Kevin Warmhold, 102 Precinct Council President Maria Thomson, Captain Martin Briffa and Officer Kenneth Vencak.
From left to right: Officer Kevin Warmhold, 102 Precinct Council President Maria Thomson, Captain Martin Briffa and Officer Kenneth Vencak.
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Two specialized-unit, undercover police officers were honored at the 102nd Precinct's Community Affairs meeting last Tuesday, January 19 – the first of the year.

Officers Kevin Warmhold and Kenneth Vencak were given the honor after an incident on January 3.

According to Captain Martin Briffa, at 11 p.m. that night, the officers were making their rounds in an unmarked car when they noticed two individuals, one male and one female, acting suspicious.

They observed them for a few minutes, and later spotted them on Atlantic Avenue taking a license plate off of a Ford Echelon vehicle. The pair allegedly stole another van and the officers witnessed them placing the plate number from the previous Ford van on to the new van. They then took off in the new van.

The officers pursued the pair and chased them for what Briffa says was a few blocks, when the female jumped out of the car. The vehicle kept on going, but soon collided with another car, which enabled the officers to catch both perpetrators.

When the officers brought the duo back to the 102nd Precinct, they found that they had five prior arrests for grand larceny auto, two chop shop arrests in which they dismantled car parts to sell, and 13 prior arrests for stealing cars.

Briffa called it a “great arrest.”

The 102nd Precinct is the city's 22nd safest precinct. Briffa said that crime has declined 10 percent in the new year compared to the start of 2011.

“Last year around this time crime was really up,” Briffa said.

Noting the precinct's consistent problems with local bars last year, Briffa said that before the holidays, the precinct took proactive steps and made sure that they reached out to the bar owners to remind them of certain types of enforcement.

He said that more or less, the precinct felt more prepared this time around.

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