BY AMANDA MOSES
Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) has partnered with the NYPD’s 75th Precinct to host monthly workshops that provide older adults with safety precautions and information.
On October 17th, Detective Nazir Abdul, Detective Beltre, and Police Officer Nicholas Rossidess met with seniors at SCSP’s office to listen to their concerns and share information on scams, preventive measures for cars and catalytic converter thefts, and more.
One deceptive encounter Detective Abdul warned seniors to be on the lookout for is someone asking to use their phone because their phone battery died, or that they lost their phone or need to make a call.
“An individual approaches, engages you in a conversation, which eventually leads to them asking to borrow your cell phone,” Detective Abdul explained. “You hand your cell phone to the individual and they run away with it. Do not give your property to anyone you don’t know.”
Detective Abdul stressed that as the holidays approach, it is paramount that individuals stay alert when it comes to their personal items. He advised attendees to never leave their purse or items on their car seat when they are out shopping because that presents itself as an invitation for thieves. He also added that they should be on the lookout for skimmers whenever they use their debit/credit cards.
The members of the 75th Precinct emphasized that they should be cognizant of their surroundings all the time, especially since many criminals specifically prey upon seniors. There have been reports of crews of thieves stealing jewelry from the elderly and often using children as a distraction.
One senior, who wished to remain anonymous, shared a harrowing incident that occurred to her in the 1990s and has been etched in her memory ever since. As she was walking into her apartment building, she said she never paid close attention to cars arriving within the loop driveway. Until one day a man exited his vehicle from the loop and as-saulted her with a weapon pushing her into the building’s lobby where he stole her jewelry. While this occurred 30 years ago, she stated that she al-ways makes sure she is aware of the cars and people around her.
Police Officer Rossidess expressed his apologies to the senior for having to experience such a terrifying incident and stated that whenever individuals are about to enter their car or home to immediately have their keys out and ready, so they are not fumbling at the door.
“Be aware of your surroundings. And when you told your story it remind-ed me of a tip we usually give: Have your key out before you go into the door. So, you always have your key out when you enter the apartment door so you’re not at the door fumbling for your keys. That gives the perpetrators less time to get you,” Officer Rossidess said.
The workshop culminated with Detective Abdul handing out phone regis-tration forms for those interested in having the NYPD input their cell phone’s serial number on the form so that if it is ever stolen and they retrieve it, then could be returned to the original owner.
Photos by Amanda Moses