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Robberies, burglaries on the brain

Despite the overall reduction of crime in Fort Greene during the year, community residents remain alarmed at the preponderance of robberies and burglaries that have been happening overnight in their neighborhood.

Since the beginning of the year, robberies in the precinct are up 11 percent and overall reported crime is down 8.3 percent, according to recent statistics. Felony assaults are down 36 percent and grand larceny incidents are down ten percent.

According to Deputy Inspector Philip J. Sferrazza of the 88th Precinct, car thefts are down 13 percent, as only five cars have been stolen over the past 28 days, and shootings are down 61 percent.

“Seventy-five people have been arrested for robberies in the year to date,” Sferrazza said. “We’re getting on top of them right away, diverting patrols to areas that are having problems. These guys who are doing it, it’s usually not their first time, and they’re going out and doing it again.”

At the last 88th Precinct Community Council meeting before the summer recess, residents asked questions about robberies and burglaries in their neighborhood.

“Businesses on DeKalb Avenue have been complaining about burglaries which have led to losses of thousands of dollars,” one Fort Greene resident said, claiming that businesses have noted 30 burglaries since the beginning of the year. “The smoke shop has been hit three times, the bagel shop twice. We’re concerned about crime in this neighborhood.”

The resident described several businesses on DeKalb Avenue from Adelphi to Vanderbilt streets, though officers from the 88th precinct disputed the number of burglaries that occurred, noting that the burglaries may not have been reported.

Sferrazza also clarified an incident of several robberies that occurred on Washington Avenue just off the Pratt Campus. Arrests were made in those robberies about one month ago, even though a local television channel reported that the crimes occurred recently. Sferrazza believes that recent administrative changes in Pratt’s security office may have led to delays in the release of the arrest reports.

“The information regarding those robberies was not accurate,” Sferrazza said. “This is not really a present day problem.”

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