101 CO Addresses 'State of Precinct'
Gun Arrests Up, But So Are Grand Larceny And Graffiti Rates
By Miriam Rosenberg
With the 101 Precinct facing several headlines this year for increases in crime, there is some good news said the precinct's commanding officer, Captain Brian McMahon earlier this week. Gun arrests are up with more than 90 this year as opposed to 42 at this time last year. Overall arrests for a variety of crimes are also on the rise, Captain McMahon told the crowd at the Precinct Community Council meeting last week.
"We are going to be up for the whole year in activity because a lot of politicians heard people voicing their concerns about the [public housing] projects having a lot of shots fired," he said, crediting Senator Malcolm Smith with helping to get extra resources for the precinct.
Included in those 90 arrests, are guns that were taken off the streets after 34 'Bloods' gang members were arrested as reported in last week's Wave.
Then, there's the bad news.
While arrests are up overall, , there are still several problem areas facing the precinct.
"The [fastest-growing] crime we're having now is grand larceny fraud," said McMahon at the September 19 meeting. "The most common way it is being portrayed is people are just randomly sending checks to people saying you won lotto for $5,000," explained McMahon. "[They then say] please send us a $2,000 processing fee and wire the money to this account overseas."
Another common technique is someone will buy something from a person on the Internet. The buyer will then tell the unsuspecting seller they had a death in the family and need part of the money back.
"[The buyer will ask] can you mail me back $500 of the $700, and you can keep $200 for your troubles, but it's never just $200." said McMahon. "They think they're helping someone, but they're not.
"Credit card fraud is also one of those areas [of concern]. They get hold of your credit card number and they open up an account in your name."
Other areas of concern are grand larcenies and felonious assaults.
According to the NYPD's CompStat statistics, which track the seven major "index" crimes determined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as of September 23, grand larcenies are up to 130 this year, compared to 102 at the same time last year. Felonious assaults stand at 130 versus 110 in 2006.
"Most [of the people involved in these crimes] are acquaintances," said the captain. "They get into some physical altercation and that raises the level of felonious assaults."
Burglaries of homes, businesses, and the like are up to 67 this year from 59 last year. The increase, said McMahon, is due to crimes in the West Lawrence area, on the New York City border with Nassau County.
"Once we got the word out, the community was very supportive…because they watched each other's property at night," McMahon said.
Though the perpetrator of the crimes in that area was never caught, McMahon believes there is no longer a threat to the community because the thief is either in jail somewhere, or moved on "because of the heavy police presence."
The statistics for other index crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and grand larceny auto are all down in the 101 Precinct, the captain said. The most impressive numbers are for rape - which is down from 17 last year, to 12 this year; and robbery is down from 114 last year to 95 this year.
Graffiti continues to plague the area. One resident of Bayswater, who asked not to be identified because he fears retribution, questioned McMahon on the subject.
McMahon said two arrests had been made over the summer - a 35 year-old man and a young man around the age of 22 or 23.
McMahon's advice to anyone who sees graffiti is to call 311 and take a photo of what they are reporting. That photo will go into a database. When an arrest is made, police can check to see if any past photos match and if the case can be presented to the DA.
Residents should also call the community affairs office at the precinct, which will see that the graffiti is painted over.
"If you have any graffiti, or your neighbor or you see it, call 311," said McMahon. "We'll go over there, make a report and we'll get it cleaned up."
In other news, over the summer Officer Juan Nunez was assigned to the Community Affairs unit at the precinct, replacing retired Detective Willy Olmeada.