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The ups and downs of Canarsie crime

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Murders are way down, as are grand larcenies, but in some other areas, crime in Canarsie has been on the rise in recent weeks.

As of September 14th, crime was up .75 percent, year to date, in the 69th Precinct, with the biggest increases coming in the areas of robbery and grand larceny auto.

Robberies are up 16.3 percent, year to date, with 164 so far in 2008, compared with 141 at this time in 2007. GLAs are up 12.1 percent, with 148 so far this year, compared with 132 at this point last year.

In the meantime, there have been four murders so far this year (including one this past weekend), compared with eight at this point last year, for a 50 percent drop, and 235 grand larcenies so far this year, compared with 275 last year, for a decrease of 14.5 percent year to date.

Rapes are also down — 11 so far in 2008 compared with 13 at this point in 2007, for a decline of 15.3 percent.

Finally, there has been a 10 percent increase in burglaries, with 131 this year, compared with 119 at this point in 2007, and a small increase in felonious assaults, now up .8 percent, with 116 so far in 2008 compared with 115 at this point in 2007.

“Over the last 15 years, across the board, crime is down,” Captain Milt Marmara told members of the United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA).

“Overall, crime had been down, but in the past couple of weeks it picked up,” he noted. “A lot of it has to do with end-of-summer angst.”

Nonetheless, “You have little blips along the road,” Marmara acknowledged. “Every once in a while, you see a blip. The last couple of weeks, we’ve seen an increase for the short term. Which is why we’re putting certain police officers in certain area. The key is finding out what’s happening and where it’s happening, and putting the resources there.”

The car thefts, Marmara said, have been occurring in several parts of the neighborhood, such as “the Avenue N corridor,” Seaview Avenue and “up and down 80th Street.”

Car thieves, he added, are particularly partial to “early ‘90s Honda Civics, early ‘90s Honda Accords, Maximas and also Toyota Camrys. Those are the top vehicles that are being stolen. They are also going after GPS systems that you leave in the car, any laptops that you leave in the car.”

In addition, Marmara said, motorcycles are being stolen.

Recently, he added, the precinct had, “Made a lot of gun arrests,” as well as arrests of suspects in car thefts and burglaries.

A lot of the crime has to do with “opportunity,” Marmara stressed. “You leave the front windows open and the back windows locked, and you get people who take advantage of that.”

In 1990, he added, there had been about 2,000 cars stolen in Canarsie. “Last year, it was about 200,” he went on, stressing, “We don’t want to go back to the bad old days.”

The precinct has, in fact, been chipping away at the increase in crime.

In the week ending September 7th, it had posted an increase of .89 percent, meaning that, in the past week alone, there has been a five percent decrease in crime, compared with one year ago. In all, one year ago, 20 crimes were committed in the second week of September, compared with 19 this year.

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