Larceny up this month, mainly bag, phone thefts

Captain Brendan TImoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Captain Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Captain Brendan Timoney, who hosted his first community council meeting as the new commanding officer of the 13th Precinct on Tuesday, told residents that the neighborhood is still having some of the same old problems with grand larceny.

That crime is up by about 6.7 percent in the last month and Timoney noted that the precinct is specifically tracking a pattern in which a black man on a bicycle seems to be targeting women distracted by their smart phones. So far, 13 women have been victims of the thief, who rides on the sidewalk behind them and grabs their phone while they’re not paying attention. Four of them had their purses stolen but Timoney said that the rest had their phones snatched right out of their hands and he added that with some of the incidents, there is video surveillance available that shows the women’s inattention to who and what is around them.

“Know your surroundings,” advised Timoney, who was transferred to the 13th Precinct seven weeks ago. “Many of them had their heads buried in the phone and didn’t even see the guy coming.”

While the phone and purse snatchings contributed to the increases, Timoney said that theft of unattended items also continues to be a problem for the precinct, where bar and restaurant goers are leaving their bags and phones behind while they go to get a drink.

“Get the word out to your friends to keep your property in your sights at all times,” he advised.

In addition to grand larceny, Timoney said that crime is currently experiencing a spike in the 13th Precinct and was up slightly overall in the last month.

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All sex offenders moved out of Bellevue shelter

Planned legislation would make this permanent by closing loophole allowing them to stay there

Councilmember Dan Garodnick spoke at Tuesday’s 13th Precinct Community Council meeting, which drew  a large crowd concerned mainly about the Bellevue shelter for men.

Councilmember Dan Garodnick spoke at Tuesday’s 13th Precinct Community Council meeting, which drew a large crowd concerned mainly about the Bellevue shelter for men. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Residents concerned about the recent rape of a woman in a bar on East 27th Street and subsequent arrest of a man who had been living in the nearby Bellevue Men’s Shelter for the crime learned that all sex offenders have since been moved out of the shelter.

Matt Borden from the Department of Homeless Services made the announcement at the most recent 13th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, which was held at the Epiphany Parish Hall instead of its usual spot in the precinct because so many from the community were expected at the event. Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez were also at the meeting to discuss legislation that would put tighter restrictions on who is allowed at the shelter.

While the regular monthly meeting would usually consist of a report from the precinct’s commanding officer about recent crimes overall, new Executive Officer Paul Zangrilli, filling in for the new Commanding Officer Brandon Timoney, instead focused on the reason that meeting attendance had quadrupled to about 100 area residents.

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