Robberies, larcenies down in 13th Precinct, assaults are up

Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, pictured at a recent meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, pictured at a recent meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Crime was down 4.7 percent overall in the 13th precinct last month, with robberies, grand larcenies and car thefts all down as well. Burglaries, often a problem for the precinct, were even for the month. Felony assaults were up but in most cases, the people involved knew each other or it had to do with incidents involving EMTs and peace officers.
The neighborhood’s recent crime was reviewed at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting last Tuesday by the precinct’s commanding officer, David Ehrenberg.
“We’ve been getting crushed with burgs but we were down seven residential burglaries this month,” Ehrenberg said. “There’s still an issue with commercial burglaries and we’re trying to get businesses with burglary alarms and preventative measures.”
He added that a number of residential burglaries were still occurring because apartment doors were being left unlocked.
“You could have the best lock in the world but if it’s not locked, it’s not going to do any good,” he said. “It’s common sense to lock your door. It’s our responsibility to catch the crooks but we need your help to prevent it.”
Grand larcenies were down in the last month and the numbers are down for the year as well.
“We’re very happy with those numbers,” Ehrenberg said. “Property theft is what drives our crime and we drive a lot of city crime just because of those numbers, so we’re glad it’s down.”
While grand larcenies are down overall for the neighborhood, Ehrenberg noted that the theft of unattended property and identity theft have increased slightly. ATM skimmers continue to be a problem for the precinct and Ehrenberg advised residents to check the card readers at the machines to make sure they’re not the flimsy scanners attached by criminals attempting to steal personal information and to cover the keypad while entering the card’s PIN.
Ehrenberg continued to be baffled by the number of unattended property thefts in the precinct in places like Starbucks, mainly because the crime is so preventable.
“We took a walk to a lot of different places in the precinct today and we saw a lot of laptops just sitting there,” he said. “You’re not going to leave $500 sitting out but people are leaving $1,000 and $2,000 computers unattended. It’s an opportunist’s crime.”
Grand larceny auto, specifically of motorcycles, was a major problem for the precinct last year but Ehrenberg said that the precinct is down for the month and the year in car thefts.

Police Watch, Jan. 2


Two people reported that their cars were damaged in separate incidents last week.

A 23-year-old woman told police that her car was damaged after she parked it in front of 127 East 17th Street at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. When she returned to the car at 8:15 p.m. the same day, she found that her car had been hit by another vehicle, which fled the scene and did not leave any contact information.

A 29-year-old man parked his car in front of 530 East 20th Street last Friday at 9:30 p.m. and reported that he found it damaged when he returned to check on the vehicle the next morning. There was damage on the left side and the unknown vehicle left the scene.


Police arrested 26-year-old Roy Assan for criminal mischief last Thursday at 11:10 a.m. in front of the 13th Precinct stationhouse at 203 East 21st Street. Assan allegedly damaged the passenger’s side mirror of an unmarked NYPD vehicle by ripping the mirror off with his hands. He also kicked the rear bumper, police said.


Two people reported in separate incidents that they were involved in car accidents near East 23rd Street in the last week.

A 50-year-old woman told police that she entered the FDR Drive at 42nd Street driving south last Friday at 10:45 p.m. and when she reached East 23rd Street on the FDR, a yellow taxi drove into her lane and collided with her car. The collision caused damage to the front fender of her vehicle but there were no injuries. The taxi continued south on the FDR without stopping.

A man reported that he was driving near the southwest corner of East 23rd Street and Avenue C last Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. when another vehicle hit his car. He told police that he made an attempt to stop the other driver, who slowed down but then sped off. The second driver has Florida license plates and no arrests were made.


Four people reported in separate incidents that their parked cars were broken into.

A 58-year-old man told police that an iPad Air was stolen from his work vehicle after he parked it in the garage at 320 East 23rd Street on December 20 at 9 a.m. He realized that the property, which belongs to his company, was missing when he checked on the car last Thursday at 3:15 p.m.

A 35-year-old man reported that he parked his car at the southeast corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street at 2:15 a.m. last Thursday and when he returned at 6:30 p.m. the same day, he noticed that the passenger’s front window was smashed in and his GPS device had been stolen.

A man reported at 11 p.m. last Monday that his car was broken into earlier that day after he parked it in front of 130 East 18th Street. He left the car in that spot at 8 p.m. and when he returned at 10:50 p.m., he saw that the rear passenger window was broken and his GPS, camera and inverter had been removed.

A 77-year-old man told police that his car was broken into after he parked it in front of 302 East 19th Street last Wednesday at 5 p.m. When he returned to the car at 7:30 p.m. the same day, he found that the rear driver’s side window was broken and his cell phone, radio and parking permit were missing.


Police arrested 33-year-old Hamlet Perez for intoxicated driving  at 4:20 a.m. last Sunday. A homeless man told police that he saw Perez passed out and unresponsive at the wheel of his car, which was parked in front of 270 Park Avenue South. The fire department and EMS knocked on his car window for 20 minutes, trying to wake him up. Police said that Perez was passed out in the car with the engine still running with his foot on the brake. He was removed from the vehicle and allegedly had slurred speech, a heavy odor of alcohol on his breath and poor coordination. He refused a Breathalyzer test at the scene.


Police arrested 22-year-old Samuel Hodgkinson for assault at the Gansevoort Hotel Bar inside 420 Park Avenue South last Wednesday at 12:20 a.m. A 26-year-old man said that Hodgkinson allegedly head-butted him in the face, causing his nose to break.


Twenty-three-year-old Shahbaaz Virk was arrested in front of 225 Fifth Avenue for intoxicated driving last Wednesday at 6:33 a.m. An officer saw Virk allegedly cut across lanes of traffic on Fifth Avenue from west to east, took a U-turn on Fifth Avenue going north in the southbound lane and then attempted to parallel park. When the officer stopped the car, Virk allegedly had a slight smell of alcohol on him and blew a .124 percent on a Breathalyzer test.


A 56-year-old resident of Peter Cooper Village reported that his car was stolen after he parked it in front of 256 Avenue C on December 23 at 5 p.m. He told police that he parked the car in a legal spot and when he went to check on it at 10:30 a.m. the next day, it was missing. He checked the tow pound and the city marshal’s office and was unable to locate the vehicle.


A 17-year-old student of the High School for Health Professions and Human Services at 345 East 15th Street reported that her phone was stolen on December 18 at 11:30 a.m. She told police that she went to the restroom and when he returned, found that her backpack was open and her Blackberry Curve was missing.


A 27-year-old woman reported that her phone was stolen while she was eating in Kambi Ramen House at 351 East 14th Street last Saturday at 5:37 p.m. She told police that she put her iPhone 5 on the counter in front of her and a few minutes later after she had been looking at the menu, noticed that her phone was gone. She didn’t see anyone take it and there was no video surveillance available.


A 23-year-old woman reported last Wednesday that her wallet and cell phone were stolen on December 20 at 5 p.m. while she was on Broadway between West 28th and 29th Streets. She told police that while she was walking to the subway, the wallet and iPhone 5S were removed from off of the stroller in which she was pushing her son. She didn’t feel like she was bumped or jostled and she attempted to use the “Find My iPhone” app but the phone was turned off. Her wallet contained $550 in cash, her Social Security card, MetroCards and a money order.