The good news is that there have been no murders in the 20th precinct this year, and while one rape has been reported it stemmed from an incident in 2011. The bad news is that burglaries and grand larcenies have risen, causing overall major crime to tick higher by 7.2%. The 20th covers the area from 59th to 86th.
At a 20th precinct community council meeting on Tuesday night, Captain Michael Falcon said that the rise in burglaries — 33 versus 25 through the same period last year — stems from a rise in thefts from construction sites, as well as packages being stolen from lobbies. Grand larcenies are up too, to 204 from 195. Ten cars have been stolen this year, up from four last year, Capt. Falcon said.
There have been some other serious recent crimes, one of which we asked about at the meeting after hearing about it from a witness. On Saturday around noon, an elderly woman got into a dispute on 69th street between Columbus and Central Park West with a man who ended up being arrested for misdemeanor assault, said Captain Falcon. The captain did not describe the event in more detail.
The witness, however, told us the woman appeared to be seriously injured.
“I did not see the incident happen but was walking from the park down 69th and saw people gathered around an elderly woman bleeding profusely from her nose and face. Someone was chasing after the mugger, who had attacked the woman, stolen her bags and walked calmly towards Columbus. The police were called and I saw an ambulance pull up so believe the woman was taken to a hospital.”
Police also say they are working aggressively to keep food trucks away from areas where they are not supposed to be located, including in front of the Apple Store and the Museum of Natural History (only veterans are allowed to sell food in front of museums).
“We’re going to be concentrating on that,” he said.
Falcon said vendors tend to drive away after being confronted by the police.
Another audience member complained about Mr. Softee trucks that idle while playing blaring music. An officer said that the trucks are allowed to play music as long as they’re moving.
Sgt. Felicia Montgomery, who is in charge of traffic enforcement said that traffic collisions are up 8% year to date, but total injuries are slightly down. The precinct is training more officers to handle traffic enforcement, as we’ve reported before.
Montgomery said that officers are also confronting tour bus drivers who idle their cars around 72nd street and Central Park West — a perennial neighborhood complaint that continues to annoy locals.
Community council meetings are usually held the fourth Monday of every month. Next month, the meeting will be on the third Monday.