Crime is down once again in the 45th Precinct, with declines in five of the seven “major” felony categories.
The precinct saw its already low crime rates drop even further for the first half of this year, with decreases in murder, rape, felony assault, robbery and burglary compared to the same period last year. Averaged out, it saw a modest one percent drop in over all crime.
Grand larceny and grand larceny auto remain stubborn problems, up by 13% and 27.7% respectively, according to NYPD CompStat data.
Precinct commanding officer, Captain James McGeown, said those spikes, as well as a 21% rise petit larceny, are mostly a result of thefts of items like credit cards from purses left inside parked cars.
“Auto related is driving many of our increases,” said McGeown, referring to thieves known to cops as “creepers” who check vehicle door handles, and then steal valuables from inside.
The increase also looks a lot bigger because of “historic lows” in terms of crime in the 45th Precinct in the past few years, said McGeown.
Burglaries declined by 27.4% from 106 to 77, felony assault down 14.1% from 92 to 79, and robbery down 1.1% to 86 from 87, through June 30, 2013.
Aggressive monitoring of pawn shops for pilfered goods has helped drive the burglaries down, he said.
With the loss of the precincts own narcotics module, the precinct is now using its conditions unit, special operations lieutenant, and the field intelligence sergeant to take on a bigger role in the fight against illegal drugs, he said, along with narcotics cops who do most of the heavy lifting in investigating complaints.
McGeown praised the cooperation of the community, community leaders and elected officials like Community Board 10 chairman John Marano, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, and Senator Jeff Klein.
Bob Bieder, the 45th Precinct Community Council president, said the precinct’s 37th ranking out 76 city precincts in terms of total change in crime should be taken with a grain of salt because the precinct was starting with very low crime to begin with. At the 2012 year end crime stats, the precinct had the second highest decline in crime from 2011.
“With such a low crime rate to begin with, having the 1.3 percent reduction is actually a big deal, because we started lower than all the others at the year end,” said Bieder.
Grand Larceny Auto has always been an issue for the 45th Precinct because the area is relatively more affluent then some of the other Bronx precincts, and the cars tend to be nicer, he said.
“The violent crimes are always of the greatest concern,” said Bieder. “The property crimes, we of course want to see reduced, but they are nowhere as important as the violent crimes. When you compare those with other precincts, we are living in a great neighborhood, a very safe area, and that is what is important.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393