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69 celebrates “lucky 13”

Thirteen may be an unlucky number to most people, but not to the cops from the 69th Precinct, who are celebrating a double digit fall in crime this year.

As November came to a close, cops from the Foster Avenue station house said they were experiencing a 13 percent drop in felony crime for the year.

According to NYPD CompStat estimates, there are drops in every crime category including robbery, although the reductions in that category are very small.

Officials said that robberies in the command have fallen by 0.9 percent for the year, which only amounts to two less than the 227 muggings reported to police by November 29, 2008. Car thefts are also down, but only by eight percent, officials said.

The other felony categories -- murder, rape, assault, burglary and grand larceny -- were all showing double digit percentage reductions, the largest being in rape reports, which fell by 29 percent for the year despite the ongoing headline-grabbing sex assault of a 14-year-old girl that occurred October.

Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, spoke of the precinct’s good fortune during last week’s community council meeting, where he said that continual police and community involvement has been a big part of the precinct’s success.

“We’re doing as much as we can to make this the safest neighborhood possible,” he said. “Canarsie can be a big small town, but everyone has to watch out for each other.”

Making sure that everyone has a safe holiday season, Marmara and his community affairs team distributed holiday safety tips to council members.

Staying alert about your surroundings, avoiding leaving valuables such as GPS devices in your car such as and traveling on populated, well lit streets will go a long way in keeping you safe as you do your neighborhood holiday shopping, Marmara said.

Members were also encouraged to only carry the cash and credit cards they think they will be need on their errands. Woman should carry their purses close to their body while men should keep their wallet in the front pants pocket or breast pocket rather than their back pocket, officials said.

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