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DWI, auto break−ins continue

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The 68th precinct has seen a decline in crime — but DWI and car break−ins remain a major concern.

At the most recent meeting of the 68th precinct Community Council, Captain James Grant advised residents not to leave valuables such as GPS systems, radios, or even loose change visible in their cars, but rather to lock them in the glove compartment or trunk.

“We just have to be more mindful of our own personal belongings and our own personal safety,” Grant said. “I’ve been doing this for 13 years and this is what happens. These guys walk down the block, they look in the cars, even if they see quarters, they break the window, they take the change, they ruffle through the car, and they walk away.”

DWI arrests have more than doubled, increasing from 24 to 54 since this time last year. The precinct has addressed DWI incidents by instituting a zero−tolerance policy. They have also put car checkpoints at 65th Street and Fourth Avenue and other accident−prone locations.

“We don’t want drunk drivers on the road,” said Grant. “I’m tired of opening up the paper and seeing that some poor pedestrian got hit by a car driven by some guy who was sloshed.”

According to the latest official NYPD CompStat report, felonies, which include murder, rape, robbery, assault, and grand larceny, have dropped nearly 29 percent since last year.

“It’s a remarkable decline considering that the economy is so bad,” said Illene Sacco, president of the 68th Precinct Community Council. “It just goes to show what a wonderful community we live in and a what a dedicated police precinct we have.”

The biggest decline has been burglary, which is down 59 percent with 35 incidents reported so far this year compared to 85 in 2008.

Felony assault and rape are both down 50 percent respectively. There have been 24 assaults and two rapes so far this year.

Robbery is down 27 percent with 32 incidents being reported in 2009 compared with 44 this time last year.

Grant credited superior police work and community support for the decline in crime. “We are honored to have you as residents and to work here and represent you,” Grant told the crowd at the meeting. “We couldn’t do this unless you were involved.”

On a scale of 1 to 76 (with 1 being the worst and 76 being the best) the 68th Precinct ranks at number 73 in the city this year for crime prevention.

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