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84th Precinct sees spike in crime due to grand larcenies

March 18, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Faces of the 84th Precinct Community Council (from left): Community Council President Leslie Lewis, 84th Precinct Capt. Sergio Centa and Council Vice President Tony Ibelli. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Crime is up in the 84th Precinct by a full 22 percent so far this year, but despite two recent shootings in the area, the increase is due to a raise in grand larcenies.

“This area is very low in violent crime, but very high in property crime,” 84th Precinct Capt. Sergio Centa said. “When you read the crime reports, this is very preventable and common sense stuff, though.”

At this month’s 84th Precinct Community Council meeting, Capt. Centa reported that robberies are down 23 percent for the year, felony assaults are down 7 percent and burglaries are down 5 percent. Nearly everything else has stayed consistent from a year ago except grand larcenies — which the captain said increased 47 percent for the year.

There are two types of grand larceny — any theft of property valued at more than $1,000 or any time property is taken from somebody’s person.

Centa said the majority of grand larcenies that have happened within the 84th Precinct have been theft of unattended property including bicycles.

“We had a case where somebody left his front door unlocked for three days while he was away on vacation,” Centa said. “There was another incident where somebody left the gate for their property unlocked, and somebody took something valuable. We have locks for a reason. Lock your doors, gates and even your lockers at the gym.”

Centa offered tips to everyone at the council meeting: avoid cellphone cases that hold credit cards; don’t leave valuable items in plain sight or in cars; and don’t leave expensive packages unattended on stoops.

The captain said to be aware of your surroundings when out shopping. Don’t ever leave property unattended. Many victims put their wallets or bags down for a second and forget about them. He noted that people shopping with children can be especially susceptible because they’re distracted — strollers with unattended bags are big targets.



There were two shootings within the 84th Precinct over the past month. The first one occurred outside the Amarachi Restaurant at 189 Bridge St. on March 6.

The bouncer at that restaurant, who is also an auxiliary cop with the 77th Precinct, noticed a patron with a gun and called cops from his precinct, who then responded.

When cops arrived, they approached two perpetrators — one with a gun and one without — on the corner of Bridge and Nassau streets. The perpetrator without the gun surrendered immediately, but the one with the gun continued toward Bridge Street.

Eventually other cops from the 77th Precinct approached him, he pulled out his gun and was shot by the cops. The perp survived and was arrested. The other perp without the gun was also arrested after cops said they found a bag of marijuana on him.

The second shooting occurred at the Borough Hall subway station on March 10. Officers from Transit District 30 responded to the scene after they heard what was later confirmed to be a single gunshot.

When they arrived at the station, they stopped three individuals and called for backup. Officers found one of the three was on the ground bleeding; plain-clothed officers arrived and administered CPR.

An ambulance transported the injured man to The Brooklyn Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. The individual who was with him was arrested on assault charges.

The third person, the shooter, was eventually identified as a retired correction officer. He was allegedly a victim of an assault who said he was trying to make a peace officer’s arrest when he fired his gun.

He was not arrested, but Transit District 30 Capt. Maria Ferina-Giacalone said the District Attorney’s Office is investigating the case.

“There were two young individuals on the train,” Ferina-Giacalone said. “The retired city correction officer enters the train, and a disagreement ensues. It escalated from a verbal to a physical confrontation that spills out into the Borough Hall train station and an individual is shot. The District Attorney’s Office is investigating.”

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