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.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel