CRIME NEWS: ATM-SKIMMING AT 7-ELEVEN, BIG RISE IN BIKE CRASHES, MOTORCYCLE THEFTS

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By Krista Carter

The 24th precinct community council meeting on Wednesday night covered a wide range of issues, from an increase in bicyclists getting hit by cars, to a series of recent motorcycle thefts, to the trend of teenagers stealing credit cards and cell phones. Captain Marlon Larin, commander of the precinct, led the meeting. The 24th covers the area from 86th street to 110th (the 20th community council meeting covering the Southern half of the neighborhood will be held on Monday).

Here’s a rundown of what was discussed:

Summer Recap
• Felony crimes carried out by younger kids; specifically, grand larcenies (12 total) out of Booker T. Washington Park and Riverside Park (e.g. stealing credit cards and cell phones while residents are caught off guard sunbathing, napping, socializing in the park). We covered this issue here.

• On 8/30 Sailors and Soldiers monument vandalized with red spray paint; a witness reported the act and a 17 year old male and 15 year old female arrested.
• As Israel and Palestine tensions mounted, stencil graffiti saying, “Boycott Israel” and “Free Gaza” were popping up throughout the neighborhood.  There was not enough evidence to call the act a hate crime, but nevertheless, the graffiti was cleaned up and the situation is currently being monitored.
• Vehicle break-ins are down 50% due to a crime prevention campaign of direct patrol, high visibility and light towers.
• An establishment on Amsterdam Avenue (El Ranchito) was operating without a liquor license and is currently being under investigation.
• On 7/18 there was a non-fatal stabbing at Douglass Houses.  The case is open, but the suspect is known.
• On 8/31 there was a non-fatal shooting at Douglass Houses following activities of gambling.  Suspect arrested.

September
Top Stories:
• Traffic:

• ID theft:

• UN General Assembly currently in town but there have been no ISIS threats thus far.  Please be alert and if you hear of anything, make a report.

Crime Overview:
• Recent attempted robbery at 106th and Broadway at 4 a.m.  A teenager approached a guy on a bench and asked for his wallet.  Police chased him on foot and although he was not apprehended, his firearm which was ditched and recovered by officers after a resident of the Douglass Houses called in and reported.  The “firearm” was actually an air pistol/BB gun.  Investigation is ongoing.
• Grand larceny with motorcycles:  thought to be because season ending.  4 taken in total, 3 on Wednesday and 1 on Friday.  Plan has been enacted.

Traffic Overview (presented by 24th precinct commander, James Dennedy):
• 3 fatalities occurred over the summer
• A driver on West End Ave. was interviewed and thought that the street was like Amsterdam (i.e. one-way), which attributes to cars making sharp left turns from West End Highway.
• West End Avenue is currently undergoing construction.  It is being dug up and a pedestrian “safety zone” (similar to Broadway) will extend from 95th Street until 97th Street.
• In order to reduce collisions, eliminating turning lanes on West End Ave. is being proposed, as well as creating larger parking lanes (check CD7 website for more info).
• Resident proposed a caution light at 100th St and Manhattan where there is heavy foot traffic by young students.  There is currently a stop sign; however, it is largely ignored.
• School bus initiative will focus on cars passing stopped school buses picking up students.
• Cyclist collisions are up more than 100% from last year (from 15 to 31). This stat includes cases where a vehicle hits a cyclist and — in very rare instances — when two cyclists collide or solo bicycle crashes.  As cycling becomes more prevalent, cyclists need to abide by the traffic laws. Larin told us later that cyclist summonses were up 42.6% since the start of the year (388 vs. 272).
• 8/4-8/31:  A 25 mph zone was enforced on Broadway.  All other avenues have a speed limit of 30 mph.  In November, Amsterdam will have a 25 mph zone enforced.

Speaker from DA’s office:
• October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.
• Manhattan family Justice Center has been established at 80 Center Street.  There is an upcoming drive.

Q&A:
• Resident concern:  A group of 40-50 kids from the Wise Towers were charging after children coming from school, running north on Columbus (into and across the street).  Issue needs to be addressed.

• Resident concern:  Tenant to tenant bullying reported, but not always recorded in precinct files unless a crime occurs (e.g. assault).  There needs to be prevention rather than waiting for an incident to occur and then responding.
• Resident (George) chastises the media for reporting on police brutality when officers “are just doing their job.” (verbal conflict ensues between him and another resident)
• Resident of Huntersmoon Hall notified community that someone is taking pictures of residents coming and going from bathroom at Hunter residence.  It is ongoing and he and other older residents are suffering health problems (stress) because of it.

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Top photo by Dirk Knight. Bottom photo of Captain Larin speaking with community members by Krista Carter.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Scott says:

      Very troubling that “boycott Israel” graffiti. We must stamp out any criticism whatsoever of Israel. Anyone deviating from this should be put in the stocks, or perhaps waterboarded.

      • Sam says:

        Troll much Scott?

        • Scott says:

          Forget my “trolling,” it’s trolling to include a “boycott Israel” stenciling job in with a crime report which includes shootings, stabbings and robberies. To think that this takes up one nanosecond of police time is remarkable, but that’s the city we live in.

          • bookbeast says:

            I agree with Scott here. Why should a poster saying “Free Gaza” potentially be considered a hate crime? Is it a crime to think that Gaza should be free? A worthy job for the thought police; I’d rather our cops focus on real safety issues.

          • Cyrus says:

            Scott, I agree with you. But you live in New York City so there are many who regard this as important news

      • geoff says:

        yes, troubling to read of such illiberal concern—an uncommon trait in new york city.

    2. irony says:

      The number of motor vehicles hitting cyclists is up, and you conclude this means that cyclists need to do a better job obeying traffic rules? Not sure I understand your math there, Professor.

      It sounds like maybe the people driving the 2-ton motor vehicles need to stop treating West End Avenue as if it was the Autobahn.

      • robert says:

        Just because the number of car v bike crashes is up this past month does not make them all the “cars” fault. For example the boy that was hit on Manhattan Ave and died a few days later was not following the traffic laws. The car driver was, if memory serves the bike went through a red light. If you don’t think bikes can be the cause of an accident, come watch what goes in each morning at 96 and B’way. Bike after bike goes right through the red lights and weaves in and out of traffic. That in no way excuses a bad driver but there are also bad bikers. That is why bike summons are up over 100%.
        On and by the way the third pedestrian was kicked in Central Park, that is one to many but I guess we should ban the type of vehicle that hit all 3 from the park. Ops all 3 were hit by bikes, were is the Hough and cry to ban them? I’m quite sure that if these folks had bee hit by cars there would be news conferences on the steps of city hall calling for action. But that’s right it won’t fit the political narrative that is being supon, cars bad bike good.

      • Super irony says:

        Yeah, maybe cyclists should also stop hitting and killing pedestrians. And also stop being general idiots in spandex.

    3. sosie says:

      About the soccer team whose gear was stolen: How did they accomplish this: “The soccer team got the suspects to take a group photo”?