72nd Precinct cops tackle robberies, burglaries and abandoned cars

November 26, 2013 Heather Chin
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Reports of robberies and burglaries have gone up slightly over the past month in the 72nd Precinct, which covers Sunset Park, Greenwood Heights and Windsor Terrace, and the local police are working to crack down on the perpetrators while also educating potential victims about how to avoid becoming a target.

At the November meeting of the 72nd Precinct Community Council, Captain James Grant noted that there had been a slight uptick in the number of cell phone robberies of young students in the Windsor Terrace, South Slope and Greenwood Heights neighborhoods.

Groups of 10 to 12 black males reportedly have been targeting the youths after school lets out, stealing their phones. Police have arrested four suspects and identified two more. Witnesses are asked to call 9-1-1 if they spot someone appearing to look for targets near schools.

Police have also arrested five people suspected of being part of the Trinitario gang of Dominican American youths that have been robbing Mexicans who have gotten drunk on payday. The incidents have been taking place at around 4 a.m. along Third and Fourth Avenues, and Grant said that the youths are also targeting Asian residents.

“Hopefully after a few more weeks, we can reduce [the attacks] to a point where it’s not an issue anymore,” said Grant.

Grant also noted an uptick in burglaries in Windsor Terrace, usually of houses where residents have left a door unlocked. The suspect(s) are said to go door-to-door during the day, when they know residents are more likely to be at work, and check the doorknobs for easy access.

“Lock your doors,” Grant said, before adding a warning to not leave iPads and other electronics in the car in your driveway or at the store parking lot, where passing robbers can easily smash a window and grab the item.

Overall, as of November 10, crime was up 5.48 percent in the 72nd Precinct, year to date, with murder up 150 percent (five so far in 2013, compared to two last year at this time); grand larceny auto up 16.7 percent (119 so far this year, compared to 102 at this time in 2012); grand larceny up 13.5 percent (371 so far in 2013, compared to 327 in 2012); and robbery up 12.7 percent (195 so far in 2013, compared to 173 at this point in 2012).

On the other side of the ledger, rape is down so far in 2013 by 14.3 percent (with 18 so far this year, compared to 21 at this point last year); burglary is down 8.3 percent (with 144 so far in 2013 compared to 157 at this time in 2012); and felonious assault is down 7.9 percent year to date (with 187 so far in 2013 compared to 203 at this point in 2012).

In other 72nd Precinct news, on Wednesday, November 20, officers began another three-day sweep under Third Avenue to search for and remove abandoned cars.

During the week of November 11, “we got seven cars and only got to 29th Street,” said Grant. Efforts like these “let people now we’re there [and paying attention],” he added.

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