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Crime in Bklyn’s subways

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The subway system in downtown and northern Brooklyn has seen an early spike in property thefts this year, but the amount of overall crime is similar to last year.

As of last week, there had been 10 property thefts within Transit District 30, compared to 4 at this time last year.  This increase in thefts has contributed to the 17 crimes committed this year, an increase from 14 at this time last year.

Overall in 2008, there were 133 crimes, a slight decrease from the 138 crimes committed in 2007.  Last year, there was 1 reported rape, 78 robberies, 12 felonious assaults, and 42 property thefts, or grand larcenies.  (Grand larcenies and robberies both involve stolen property, with robberies distinguished by the use of force.)

Transit District 30 encompasses the A/C line from High Street to Nostrand Avenue; the M and R from Court Street to DeKalb Avenue; the 2/3/4/5 from Clark Street to Nevins Streets; the F from York Street to Church Avenue; and the G from Greenpoint Avenue to Smith-9th Street.

Crime is most prevalent in stations and trains along the G, with the A/C running second.

The most common time for crime to occur is in the late afternoon, when school students and rush hour commuters pack the trains.

At last week’s 90th Precinct Community Council meeting, Captain John DeRose said hand-held technology items like iPhones, iPods and T-Mobile Sidekicks are favorite items of thieves.

He suggested owners of iPhones and iPods replace the tell-tale white headphones, which are often a giveaway to potential thieves.

“If they see [the headphones], it becomes a crime of opportunity,” he said.

He also suggested that residents contact their local precincts to have their electronic valuables etched with invisible ink and entered into a central computer system.  This enables victims of property theft to recover their valuables if they are found and returned to police.  This also can help cops prosecute perpetrators.

DeRose also urged victims of thefts to report crimes immediately, saying this drastically increases officers’ chances of catching perpetrators.

“We have a lot of late reporting, and this prevents us from getting out there.  My suggestion is to report this stuff immediately,” he said.

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