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Missing Queens Youth Hails from Rego Park

112th Precinct captain discusses search for missing teen, drop in crime in the community at CB 6's meeting.

Photo courtesy of the NYPD.
Photo courtesy of the NYPD.

An autistic teenager who has been missing since last Friday hails is a resident of Rego Park, the 112th Precinct’s captain told Community Board 6 members Wednesday night.

Avonte Oquendo, 14, was last seen leaving Long Island City’s Center Boulevard School just after 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.

The youth is five-feet-three-inches, 125 pounds and cannot communicate verbally. He was wearing a grey striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers.

Capt. Thomas Conforti told CB 6 members during their monthly meeting that officers from the 112th Precinct had joined in the search for Oquendo.

“He’s our number one effort right now,” he said. “We have to do everything we can to locate him.”

Conforti told board members that crime was on the decline in Forest Hills and Rego Park.

“For the year, so far, crime is down over seven percent,” he said. “Citywide, it’s only down one percent.”

Conforti said a majority of the crimes of recent months have involved break-ins.

“All year long, all we’ve heard is burglary, burglary, burglary,” he said. “A few weeks ago, we arrested a career burglar. There hasn’t been a single burglary in the area since. I’m confident we’ve turned a corner on this.”

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission dropped by CB 6’s meeting in Kew Gardens to talk about the five-borough taxi plan.

“Before the program existed, it was illegal for livery vehicles to pick up street hails anywhere in New York,” said Erica Leyva, an external affairs analyst for TLC. “We realized there was a demand for street hails in Queens. But we wanted to make sure people were able to get service of quality.  The cabs have set rates, so there’s no need to haggle for the price.”

But Joseph Hennessy, CB 6’s chairman, said that TLC had not been doing enough enforcement to ensure that the five-borough taxi plan was running smoothly.

TLC representatives at the meeting said that each vehicle has a GPS system and that there has been an estimated increase from 200 to 1,000 enforcements per month.

Drop by Forest Hills Patch this afternoon to read about CB 6’s vote on a plan to remove parking spaces on Metropolitan Avenue.

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