Today’s news:

Cops downplay burglaries

Rumors of a burglary spike in Marine Park are unfounded, according to local police officers.

“Over the past four months, you’ve had five burglaries reported. Five is more than anyone would want to have but it’s not a huge increase,” Sgt. Christine Bastedenbeck of the 63rd Precinct explained at last week’s meeting of the Marine Park Civic Association, which was held at P.S. 207 on Fillmore Avenue.

Bastedenbeck said the precinct has received several calls from residents expressing concern at reports of more burglaries in the area.

When residents hear rumors of increased crime, the first thing they should do is call the precinct, the sergeant said.

“Give us a call. One of the things we do is rumor control,” she said.

For residents looking to improve the security of their homes, the precinct offers free safety programs.

“The precinct offers these services to anybody who is interested in them,” Bastedenbeck said.

As part of the precinct’s crime prevention initiatives, residents can request that an officer visit their homes and offer advice on how to improve security.

“He’ll come around and give you ideas of how to make your home safer,” Bastedenbeck explained.

There are many things homeowners can do themselves.

“Better lighting – that’s the first and foremost thing to prevent crime from happening,” Bastedenbeck said.

Cops encourage having a motion sensor in the front and the back of homes to illuminate the property when anyone approaches. This could scare off would-be burglars.

Officers also suggest that residents install several locks, including a deadbolt, on their front doors.

Residents can request a free home visit by contacting the 63rd Precinct’s crime prevention officer at 718-258-1505.

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