News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
July 22, 2014
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News + Views

The 76 Report

By Lisa M. Collins

The 76th Precinct covers Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook and Boerum Hill.
Photo by Joshua Kristal

While crime has quieted again in the 76th Precinct, covering Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook and Boerum Hill, robberies of electronics — mainly, iPhones, cell phones and laptops – by teenaged robbers, is still an issue, according to police.

Often, stolen goods are sold to car service stands and bodegas, according to my police source. For two years now, police have arrested employees of Cobble Hill Car Service, on Court, next to Cobble Hill Cinemas, for purchasing stolen electronics.

At another car service on Columbia Street, police arrested the business owner for buying a stolen laptop. At the time of the arrest, the owner’s daughter was using the stolen computer, my source said.

Many times, when employees purchase stolen goods, the items are “gone” quickly, my source said. The items are sold on the street, used at home or sent to home countries to be used by family members.

Recent years have seen phones, and other electronics, replace jewelry as targets for robbers. Some of the phone thievery is a mystery. Not long ago the police arrested a kid who had each of the 10 phones he’d stolen in his room, my source said.

Residents should keep a watch on electronics, and pocket books. Hot spots for thieves include Trader Joe’s and Smith Street.

Capt. Jack Lewis, Commander of the 76, continued to urge residents to report crimes as soon as they happen.

“If you don’t tell us about it, we can’t do anything about it,” Lewis said.

In April, there were seven robberies in the 76, Lewis said. Three arrests nabbed 10 suspects. The robbers are young, aged 13 to 19, and from around Brooklyn.

Aside from robberies, biking violations, such as riding on the sidewalk and running red lights, continues to be a focus of police enforcement, Lewis said.

Since the beginning of the year, the precinct has seen a spike in felony assaults, but that’s due to a change in the law, Lewis said. The state legislature made it a felony place an object or one’s hands on another’s throat, when there is any injury at all, “no matter how minor,” Lewis said. The law was sparked by a reported link between strangulation and the escalation of domestic violence.

“If we enforce the law appropriately, we should be able to reduce domestic assaults,” Lewis said.

And in a more global sense–In the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing in Pakistan, the police urged city residents to report suspicious behavior here in NYC.

“It’s not how people look, but what they are doing,” said 76 spokesman Vinny Marrone.

My source in the 76, who is an intelligence officer with the NYPD, says that oddly enough, the city has not seen a heightened level of security threat or risk since the bin Laden killing.

“We’re no more at risk now than we were two weeks ago,” he said. “You shouldn’t feel less safe.”

The NYPD is very proactive in tracking terrorist threats, this source said. When there was a foiled attempted bombing plot by a N.Y. man who visited a Colorado beauty supply store for bomb materials a while back, the NYPD took quick action. Within 10 days, the city police visited every single beauty supply store, pool supply store and truck rental office in the five boroughs, my source said.

“It’s the tedious things we do to make sure that things don’t happen,” he said.

He urged residents to call 888-NYC-SAFE if they see suspicious behavior.

And that’s all for now.

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