Spike in burglaries, assaults

Lieutenant Vincent Collins reported a 10 percent increase in burglaries. Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

Lieutenant Vincent Collins reported a 10 percent increase in burglaries.
Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

In the first 13th Precinct Community Council meeting after the summer break this past Tuesday, police reported that the precinct has seen recent increases in crime, specifically in grand larceny auto, burglaries and felony assaults.

Lieutenant Vincent Collins filled in for the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, who was tied up with a duty throughout all of Manhattan.

Collins reported that there has been a 10 percent increase in burglaries this past month, although most of them are commercial burglaries committed by what police refer to as “office creepers,” who have been noted as a problem for the precinct in the past.

One resident who works on Fifth Avenue wanted to know about the kinds of buildings where these incidents are occurring, and Police Officer John Considine said that these thieves hit both doorman and non-doorman buildings, often posing as bike messengers or food delivery people.

He suggested that to stop it from becoming more of a problem, buildings should make it a practice not to let bike messengers or delivery people past the lobby to prevent them from wandering freely throughout the building and entering offices where they could potentially steal from employees’ desks. He added that doing so could also help spread the word among criminals, letting them know that certain buildings are more difficult to get into.

Although Collins said that there has been an increase in felony assaults, he noted that there have also been a number of arrests in those cases. “A lot of these have been assaults on officers and have been because of the hospitals that are in the neighborhood,” he added.

A resident and local business owner said that he’s encountered a number of people who seem mentally unstable who could potentially be involved in these assaults, and Collins suggested that anyone who encounters such a situation should call 911, or notify the precinct or 311 if the person is more of an ongoing problem for the area.

Other residents added that they’ve had problems with unruly homeless people in the past and seemed doubtful that the police had the authority to detain them for psychiatric evaluation. Linda Janneh from the District Attorney’s office said that in cases when people on the street are getting undressed, “releasing bodily fluids” or threatening to cause harm to themselves or others, they can be forced to go to Bellevue. If they are found to be in certifiable need of mental help, they will be kept in the hospital for at least six weeks.

Shana Wertheimer, the director of the Prince George Hotel on East 28th Street, was also

Shana Wertheimer, director of the Prince George Hotel on East 28th Street, discusses its housing of low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers. Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

Shana Wertheimer, director of the Prince George Hotel on East 28th Street, discusses its housing of low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers.
Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

at the meeting to speak about services available to the homeless population in the area. The Prince George is run by the organization Common Ground, which is a supportive housing provider for low-income New Yorkers and the formerly homeless.

Common Ground has apartments and temporary housing available throughout the state, including the original building in Times Square. Forty percent of the units in the Prince George are set aside for low-income residents and 60 percent are for the formerly homeless, and the case managers help residents with services such as medication monitoring, money management or with any issues they have, the goal being to provide a more economically-friendly alternative to the city’s shelter system for homeless people in the area.

The increases in grand larceny auto cases have been primarily in the theft of motorcycles, which has been reported in T&V’s Police Watch recently, including two in the past week. Collins noted that all of the incidents have happened late at night and they have beefed up specialized units in an attempt to deal with the problem.

“We’ve had a decrease in grand larcenies, which has historically been our nemesis,” he added.

It also wouldn’t have been a 13th Precinct Community Council meeting without a number of complaints about bikes. Considine said that the precinct has been up in enforcement for the past few months, to the disbelief of some of the residents at the meeting, who said that the number of rule-breakers they’ve seen on bikes has been increasing.

Considine admitted that the arrival of Citi Bike has added to the problem but noted that officers have been writing more summonses for cyclists who have been disobeying the traffic laws and riding on the sidewalks.

“It’s hard to enforce every time it happens and it’s not an easy problem to solve,” he admitted.

The next community council meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. and will include the presentation of Cop of the Month for both September and October.

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14 thoughts on “Spike in burglaries, assaults

  1. Could any of these assaults be of greater magnitude than when MetLife converted his company from a mutual insurance company which was owned by the policy holders to a corporation? And, this was followed by CEO Robert Benshome converting PCV/ST into faux “luxury” developments in order to increase rents as much as three times as after each apartment became vacant and went into the free-market category.

    Originally PCV/ST were built for the middle class — especially for returning Second World War veterans.

    If a poor person steals milk and bread — well it’s off to Riker’s Island. Persons like Benshome and Jamie Diamond (of
    J. P. Morgan Chase) get increased compensation with stock options.

    Pay less attention to the alleged burglaries and assaults and more to the “fat cats” who are shrinking the middle class as their religions has become unfettered greed. This will result in the end of our democratic republic.

    • It’s “apples and oranges” because both the fat cats such as Benmoshe and the lowlifes committing felonies are victimizing us. Neither one is any better than the other and while we have been victimized by greedy fat cats like Robert Benmoshe and Jamie Dimon, who worship at the alter of Unbridled Greed and Avarice, I doubt the burglars have any more scruples and they are not stealing in order to eat.

  2. I just returned from a couple of weeks in Chicago. I noticed that they have a bike-sharing program there, but unlike here in New York, the cyclists obey the traffic laws and do not ride on the sidewalk. If the Chicago cops can enforce the law pertaining to cyclists, why can’t the NYPD? Another thing I noticed was that there was no litter on the streets and no mountains of festering bags of garbage along the sidewalks. Why can’t we do whatever they are doing?

  3. Re: Reply to my response by “ANON.”

    I agree that they are as you commented about the “lowlifes and [the] greedy fat cats” as being as being like “apples and oranges” The events begun by MetLife when Robert Benshome was CEO have become a microcosm of what is occurring via the GOP led radical right who no longer represent the electorate but rather guys like David Koch. They, in an attempt to make the wealthy far wealthier are shrinking and destroying the middle class leaving only a democratic republic in name only.

    Crime will never go away completely. But, PCV/ST has always had the lowest crime rate in New York City (source a survey by New York Magazine) — even through the dreadful years when David Dinkens’ was mayor. With tens of thousands of units — we are the equivalent of a city.

    As with TV and tabloids, the rule is, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Reporting thuggish crime, of course is important. But of far greater moment is that Benshome and Co. are involved with will have a far greater effect on our once proud nation.

    By the way, Mr. Benshome is now at AIG. It figures!

    • I recommend reading “The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives” by Sasha Abramsky. BTW, it is Benmosche, not Benshome! (I know I’m a nitpicker.) 😉

      • Re: Most recent comment by ‘ANON.”

        My suggestion: read Thomas Franks’ WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? which clearly explicates how many of the electorate vote against their own interests.

        P. S. — Thanks for the correction. Remember that there are “spellers” and “thinkers.” I belong to the latter category.

        • “P. S. — Thanks for the correction. Remember that there are “spellers” and “thinkers.” I belong to the latter category.”

          I like to think I belong to both categories.

      • “ANON,” What Mr. Benmosche, the Koch Bros and their other bro’s need is to realize that another $1B, will not make any of them any more fulfilled than they are now and their enormous wealth will be terminated completely when the Reaper who is quite grim meets with them as he will with all of us including the shrinking middle class and the growing number of poor. And for God’s sake, “B” and the two “Ks” get a sense of humor.

        If I may add: I don’t care if this uber greedy cabal can spell or not.

        • Benmosche is already living on borrowed time as he has inoperable cancer which is in remission. I guess he’s either planning to have his billions buried with him or he’ll leave them to charities, foundations, etc., and then everyone will think he was a nice, generous guy instead what he really is.

  4. As a Met Opera subscriber, I know that he has endowed them with lot’s of $$$; also to the NYC Ballet. .But, surprising of all he is an underwriter of PBS” NOVA series which did a blistering account of Sandy and it’s nexus to global climate change. But when PBS’ FRONTLINE intended to do a documentary on David Koch, he said that if they proceeded, he would no longer contribute to PBS.

    Go figure?

  5. Re: Comment from “ANONYMOUS” (Not to be confused with comments by “ANON.”)

    Sir or Madam: The only replies to my remarks have no substance. Ergo, they are simply ad hominom. I have absolutely no idea as to your disagreements or criticisms. Your move, please…!

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