I-Pads, I-Phones Top Ticket For Thieves
The Rockaway peninsula, following a citywide crime trend, has seen a quick rise in the theft of high-end electronic devices over the past few months, police officials say.
“It’s the crime du jour,” said a Queens City Councilman when asked about the steep rise in the crime statistics.
Year-To-Date statistics for the period ending on April 29 show a rise in grand larceny in both Rockaway precincts.
In the west end’s 100 Precinct, grand larceny, mostly of electronic devices on the subway and elsewhere, has risen to 49 this year from 36 last year, a rise of 6.1 percent.
There were four in the week ending April 29 in that precinct alone.
In the 100 Precinct in Far Rockaway, grand larceny has risen to 56 from 33, a rise of 69.7 percent. For the period of March 29 to April 29, grand larceny rose 333 percent, from three to 13 grand larceny reports.
For Queens as a whole, grand larcenies are up nearly 20 percent for the same period.
Danny Ruscillo, the president of the 100 Precinct Community Council, a civilian advisory board, has started a block watcher program in that precinct.
He thinks that having civilians as the eyes and ears of the police will help to drop the number of crimes committed in the precinct.
“Imagine all those eyes and ears,” Ruscillo said. “It’s going to be a major deterrent.”
Many crime specialists see the rise in crime as a function of the economic downturn and the advertising campaigns that are everywhere and push the virtues of the newest telephones and tablets.
“People who see the new gadgets want them and can’t afford them,” one expert said. “So, they just go out and get them any way they can.”
Overall, crime is down in the 100 Precinct by nearly five percent, while it is up in the 101 Precinct by 31.5 percent.