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Car break-ins remain one of the biggest drivers of crime in the area. Thieves smashing car windows to steal sometimes as little as pennies from a cup holder are one of the reasons for the spike in crime recorded in the latest Compstat report from the 61st Precinct.

While motorists should feel comfortable parking their car wherever they like, the reality of the situation is that thugs take advantage of dark streets and look for indications that the car might have valuables inside. The local precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit recently sent out a batch of tips to help reduce your risk, and the area’s crime stats.

To make sure you’re possessions are as safe as possible, here is a list of safety tips:

  • Do not leave satellite radios, portable GPS system, or suction cup on windshield whether temporarily parking or parking overnight.
  • Do not leave wallets, purses, backpacks, jewelry, credit cards or any other valuable property in your vehicle while it is parked.
  • Do not leave cell phones or other electronics in the glove compartment.
  • Activate any theft deterrent devices you may have.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables in the vehicle.
  • Do not keep your license, registration or title in the vehicle.
  • Make certain that your vehicle is locked.
  • If possible, park in a bright, well lit area.
  • If you have a garage, use it. Lock both the vehicle and the garage.
  • Install video surveillance within the vicinity of the garage or driveway where your vehicle will be parked.
  • If you have video surveillance conduct periodic maintenance to make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Position the cameras so that it will be able to capture a good image of an individual’s face but secure enough to prevent any possible tampering.
  • Install wheel locks on your vehicle to help deter theft of tire and rims.
  • Contact the 61st Precinct Crime Prevention Officer to have your vehicle VIN etched.

You can learn more about the 61st Precinct’s VIN etching and other crime prevention programs by calling the Crime Prevention Unit at (718) 627-6832.

Tsob Tsobe! at Coney Island Avenue

Tsob Tsobe! at 2817 Coney Island Avenue

It was with great dismay that we noticed Back to USSR pulling down its signs over the summer, after two years in business. The kitschy, Soviet-themed restaurant at 2817 Coney Island Avenue was a great place to bring people from outside of Sheepshead Bay, pulling back the curtain a bit on the area’s Russian-speaking cultures with a tongue planted firmly in-cheek.

But the storefront didn’t stay empty long. Some time in the past few weeks Tsob-Tsobe! took its place, declaring itself a”cafe lounge bar.” They redid the entire storefront, interior and exterior. Unlike its predecessor, which elevated the atmosphere with a large statue of Vladimir Lenin with kielbasa in hand, Tsob-Tsobe! is tastefully decorated and is earning kudos from Yelpers.

The online directory says it’s serving Mediterranean, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine, but we’ve learned that with local restaurants, that could mean Turkish, or it could mean the menu is a smorgasbord of Turkish, Uzbeki and Russian foodstuffs. With their website not yet built and no menu available online, we’ll just have to wait to visit to find out.

As for the name? We’re having trouble tracking down its provenance. Some Googling suggests it’s something Cossack cowboys yelled at their cattle, or farmers upon receiving a good harvest – but we can’t say for sure. Anybody able to fill us in?

Community Board 15 is meeting tomorrow, November 25, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College  (2001 Oriental Boulevard) in the faculty dining room.

On the agenda are public hearings for three zoning items. Here are the applications being considered:

  • 1963 McDonald Avenue - Application to legalize a variance for floor area, lot coverage, rear yard and open space regulations.
  • 1620 Shore Boulevard  – An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.
  • 1601 Oriental Boulevard - An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.

In addition to the zoning items, the board’s chairperson and district manager will deliver their monthly reports. There will also be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss various committee reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

Refreshments will be served.

red-mango-1

After a blitz of independent and local chain frozen yogurt joints opening up in Sheepshead Bay these last few years, national franchise Red Mango has staked out a location on Kings Highway.

Located at 1222 Kings Highway, it’s the second Red Mango to open in Southern Brooklyn (the first is in Bensonhurst), and the fourth in the borough.

The storefront looks small, but opens up to a larger space and upstairs dining area once inside. Employees told Sheepshead Bites that the business began serving frozen treats to customers on November 13.

It replaces Scott Jewelers, which just a month ago made headlines after a failed robbery attempt ended with a security guard knocking a gun out of the thief’s hand, and causing a shot to go off. The thieves lost their nerve and made for the door; apparently the owners did the same.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Red Mango. And best of luck to the owners of Scott Jewelers on their future endeavors!

Updated (5:16pm): Whoops! As our Facebook readers were quick to point out, we screwed up. Scott Jewelers actually moved across the street, which we’re very glad to hear. Apologies to Scott Jewelers for the error, and to our readers for the confusion!

Gil Hodges Bridge (Photo by Stan Kaplan)

Gil Hodges Bridge in the distance (Photo by Stan Kaplan)

The Marine Parkway – Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge got stuck in the up position this morning, spurring advisories to motorists to use the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge as an alternative for those going to or coming from the Rockaways.

The bridge was lifted to allow a ship to pass beneath it at approximately 11:30am. A problem with the electrical cables, owned by Consolidated Edison, stopped it from closing after the vessel passed.

Traffic remained blocked in both directions as of 1:00pm, and authorities did not provide an estimated service restoration time.

Source: dtanist/Flickr

Due to ongoing construction, there are major service changes on the B, Q and F lines until next Monday, December 1. Making things a little crazier this week is Thanksgiving on Thursday, when most buses and subways operate on a Sunday schedule – meaning no B service whatsoever on that day.

B LINE

Until December 1: there are no B trains between Brighton Beach and Kings Hwy – take the Q instead. Additionally, there will be no service on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

Q LINE

All times until 5am Monday, December 1: there are no Q trains between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Av. Q service operates between 57 St-7 Av/Ditmars Blvd and Brighton Beach. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service, stopping at Brighton Beach, Stillwell Av, Ocean Pkwy and West 8 St.

F LINE

All times until 5am Monday, December 1: there are no F trains between Avenue X and Stillwell Av. F service operates between 179 St and Avenue X. Free shuttle buses provide alternate service, stopping at Avenue X, Stillwell Av, Neptune Av and West 8 St.

Photo by Giorgi Mchedlishvili

Photo by Giorgi Mchedlishvili

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Here are some of the big stories you may have missed this week. You can keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood all week long. Just follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

gorelik

Keep an eye out for neighbor Natan “Nate” Gorelik, a 28-year-old graphic designer last seen in Brighton Beach.

Gorelik left his grandmother’s home Tuesday in Brighton Beach Tuesday evening, wearing black rolled up pants. Friends and family have reached out to Sheepshead Bites about his disappearance, and are posting fliers around the neighborhood.

Police have been notified and are assisting in the search. On Thursday, some of Gorelik’s belongings were found on Plumb Beach, including his wallet, a phone, book bag, guitar, shoes and jacket.

If you have information about Gorelik’s whereabouts, or have seen him since Tuesday night, please call 911.

Track work (Source: MTAPhotos/Flickr)

Southern Brooklynites are set to have their commutes bungled for the next two weeks, as the B, Q and F lines all see major service suspensions in the area while the MTA replaces a critical track switch at West 8th Street.

For two consecutive weeks, beginning at 11:00pm tonight and lasting until 5:00am Monday, December 1, the following changes will be in effect.

  • B trains will operate between Kings Highway and Bedford Park Boulevard only. For service between Kings Highway and Brighton Beach, riders will have to swap to a Q train at Kings Highway.
  • Q trains will not operate between Brighton Beach and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in either direction. Free shuttle buses will provide alternate service at Stillwell Avenue, West 8th Street, Ocean Parkway and Brighton Beach stations.
  • F trains will not operate south of Avenue X in either direction. Free shuttle buses will provide alternate service, stopping at Avenue X, West 8th Street, Neptune Avenue and Stillwell Avenue stations.

The suspension are in effect s.o that the MTA can replace a critical track switch just south of the West 8th Street station, necessary for the safe operation of trains along the Sea Beach (F line) corridor. The switch was installed in 1987. There will also be maintenance work that includes new track panels along the elevated structure, all as part of New York City Transit’s Capital Rebuilding Program.

“We appreciate the community’s patience as we complete this important switch replacement project, and necessary track maintenance work. Our goal is to complete this work as quickly and efficiently as possible,.” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco in a release.

beer-beverage

Sheepshead Bay has a new, fully stocked beer and beverage center, offering wholesale prices on beer to the public.

The Beer & Beverage Discount Center at 3769 Nostrand Avenue has been open since September, but the business finally received its beer license on Friday. As of this Monday, shelves are now filled with foreign and domestic suds, including a number of hard-to-find craft brews and imports.

The shop is the brain child of two Sheepshad Bay business veterans: Konstantin Urman, co-owner of Eye Appeal (1508 Sheepshead Bay Road), and Tommy Grupman, who ran Pravda Media on Coney Island Avenue before turning it into an online-only business.

Grupman said the idea came after searching high and low through Southern Brooklyn for something to meet his discerning tastes.

“Personally, I could not find a beer store with wide variety and reasonable prices. I asked around and searched on Google and could not find any [in the area],” said Grupman.

The business also sells non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and candies, as well as kegs and party supplies.

And as for that news blogger in your community? Well, they have gift buckets, too. Hanukkah is just around the corner is all I’m sayin’.

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