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Sticky-Fingered Grinches Go On 61st Pct. Crime Spree

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Did some Christmas Grinches upset the 61st Precinct? If burglars are considered Grinches, then it’s quite possible. In just four days time, from December 22 to 25 – a time when, usually, crime is at an all-time low — six burglaries were reported to the 61st Precinct. Since a good number of people travel during the holidays, it is expected that more burglaries will be reported after January 1, when residents return home to discover that someone else besides Santa has visited. Bikes, computers, cash and electronics were among the items taken from the four residents and two stores broken into during the four day span, officials said. Out of the six burglaries reported, three arrests were made, all from a break-in at a third floor apartment on the 3200 block of Nostrand Avenue on Christmas Eve. Police said that two of the thieves were spotted trying to smuggle out a plasma TV and computer from the home when they were caught. The third was caught in a getaway vehicle in a nearby alley. Police consider burglary arrest a “two for one gift.” While they arrest the thieves responsible for this particular crime, cops are also ensuring that these three would not commit burglars in the near future. The thieves of opportunity that they are, burglars tend to hit three to four places a day, officials said. According to the latest published crime statistics for the 61st Precinct, dated December 11, the number of burglaries in the communities the precinct serves have dropped by 25 percent. At the time the report was published, 432 burglaries had been reported to the 61st Precinct. During the same time last year, 582 burglaries had been reported to the Coney Island Avenue station house. Between December 5 and December 11, only five burglaries had been reported, according to the city’s CompStat system. During the 61st Precinct Community Council meeting on December 14, Captain Vincent Stella said that the 61st Precinct’s nine percent drop in felony crime surpasses that of the city, which is only seeing a five percent drop. At the time, only three of the 61st Precinct’s felony crimes tracked by the CompStat system were showing increases – murder, rape and felony assault. Statistics show that homicides jumped from two in 2004 to seven this year – which included the killing of 24-year-old Elena Kasmynina, who was found stabbed to death on the floor of the elevator at her new apartment building East 7th Street in Homecrest. Rape reports filed with the 61st Precinct also saw an increase from 8 to 18, officials said. Assaults jumped from 143 in 2004 to 147 this year, according to reports. Muggings in the precinct fell by fur percent, said officials. Grand larcenies, or thefts of $1,000 or more, and car thefts showed drops of five percent apiece, officials said. The 61st Precinct protests residents in Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach, Homecrest and parts of Midwood.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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