Rash of burglaries

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A burglary spike in Kensington has residents on edge.

During a recent gathering of the 66th Precinct Community Council, nearly a dozen residents living east of Ocean Parkway between Avenues I and J complained about the brazen burglars, which they have reportedly seen skulking in neighborhood driveways and alleyways.

Some residents claimed that at least six burglaries and two car break-ins took place between East 2nd and East 4th Street and Avenues I and J during the summer months – when many of the residents were on vacation.

Others said that they’ve seen an increase in burglaries all the way from East 1st to East 10th Streets.

Yet no cops can be found, they allege.

“There’s something up,” one resident recounted. “We keep seeing these three guys in a van hanging out on the corner. It could be these burglars. We need more police in the area.”

Another resident, who wished not to be named, said that just the other night a police cruiser approached his daughter as she was coming home.

“I stuck my head out to see what was going on and my daughter said that the cops were looking for two people with hoods and masks seen in a driveway on East 5th Street,” he said. “My daughter’s old enough to be out late, but I’m afraid to have her out there. What if she came across these guys?”

Inspector Peter DiBlasio, the commanding officer of the 66th Precinct, said that there was a flare-up of burglaries in that part of Kensington, which, he said, is usually “low in crime.”

He explained that he has put additional resources in the area, although these officers may not be sporting NYPD blues.

“When we have a rash of break-ins like this, we want to assign plain-clothes cops to the area instead of uniforms,” he said. “Some people say that they never see a police car on their block, but they’re there.”

“Sometimes I want to deter crime while other times I want to arrest,” he added. “We want to watch and follow them and catch them in the act.”

DiBlasio recommended that if anyone sees suspicious looking characters hanging around the streets of Kensington to call the police immediately.

“You don’t have to wait to be a victim of a crime to call the police,” he said.

According to recent CompStat figures, the number of burglaries in the 66th Precinct have jumped by 9 percent for the year, from 240 in 2007 to 262 this year.

Burglaries in the command jumped by 48 percent between mid-August and mid-September, from 25 to 37, officials said.

The 66th Precinct protects residents in Borough Park, Kensington and parts of Midwood.

Updated 3:43 pm, October 19, 2011
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