By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Crime is down overall for the month in the 13th precinct, Commanding Officer Brendan Timoney told neighborhood residents on Tuesday, and currently officers are focused on a residential break-in pattern, and auto larceny.
Timoney discussed the crime stats at the last 13th Precinct Community Council meeting before the summer break. Crime, he said, was down in many of the major areas as well, with a 52 percent decrease in felony assaults, a 42 percent decrease in burglaries and a 21 percent decrease in grand larcenies.
There has, however, been a spike in grand larceny auto in the last couple months that has continued this past month, primarily due to motorcycle theft. He noted that there is one incident on video that shows thieves loading stolen Vespas into a maroon van outside Stuyvesant Town. To combat the theft, the precinct has been doing joint operations with the 9th precinct directly south and has set up checkpoints to keep an eye on other vans that might be responsible.
Despite the decrease in burglaries this month, Timoney noted that the precinct is tracking a residential burglary pattern in which a man is going into apartments through fire escapes on East 25th to 29th Streets between Second and Third Avenue. He also warned residents that since the weather is getting warmer, criminals are going to be on the look-out for open windows to get into apartments and take what they want.
Timoney said that grand larceny had been spiking for the past few months but the precinct had a squad focusing on restaurants and bars, where a number of the crimes had occurred, and this effort contributed to the decrease for this month.
One of the few questions at the sparsely-attended and record-breaking short meeting this week concerned the ongoing issue of the men’s homeless shelter on East 30th Street.
PS 116 PTA co-president Renee Lesser wanted to know what the precinct was doing to continue mitigating problems from the shelter to protect the safety of children from nearby schools. Timoney said that the the precinct has been in constant contact with the shelter and officers have been doing joint operations with the Department of Homeless Services police.
“Officers have been making sure that no one’s hanging out on the sidewalks,” he said. He added that there was a robbery on East 28th Street committed by a resident of the shelter earlier this month, but there have been no other additional issues.
“DHS has been on patrol and the residents are no longer hanging out on the corners,” he said.
One of the felony assaults in the last month involved the 30th Street Men’s Shelter in which one of the men receiving services at the shelter was unhappy with the treatment he was getting and threw his shoe at a DHS officer.
Another felony assault in the last month was committed by David Baril, who’s believed to have attacked multiple people with a hammer and who Timoney said is now paralyzed in the hospital after he was shot during his arrest on May 13.