Today’s news:

70 cops flood ‘Impact Zone’

The cavalry has arrived in the form of 70 new cops to one of the crime areas in the 67th Precinct.

The area comprises two triangular sectors from Remsen Avenue to East 95th Street and from Church to East New York Avenues, which NYPD brass recently deemed an “impact zone.”

An impact zone is an area of a precinct that is deemed high crime and then it is flooded with a police presence.

It is a strategy that has been credited for the huge drop in crime in the past 10 years.

“We went to a CompStat meeting at headquarters and said we need help,” said Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues, commanding officer of the 67th Precinct.

Pegues said that police brass looked at the figures and saw that the two sectors where the impact zone is located had 14 or 15 shootings for the year.

That is more than a quarter of the 52 shootings the precinct has had thus far this year, said Pegues.

Pegues said that at this time last year there were 44 shootings, so the command is up eight shootings.

The command also leads the city in taking 142 guns off the street so far in 2008, but that number is still down some 31 percent from last year when the 67th Precinct took 208 guns off the street.

Pegues said the added police in the impact zone will patrol from midnight to 4 or 5 a.m., and additional police will be assigned just outside the zone to watch for displaced criminals who have to move their operation.

The area around East 95th Street is a high illegal drug area and a lot of people are afraid and need help, Pegues said.

Major felony crime overall is down a little more than two percent in the precinct with auto theft leading the way, down 25 percent.

There have been a reported 226 auto thefts so far in 2008 as compared to 302 at this time last year.

Burglary is down 11 percent for the year with 330 reported incidents so far this year as compared to 372 at this time last year.

Pegues said until a short time ago, the precinct was having two, three and four robberies a day. Recently, a woman reported a break-in at her home, and five perpetrators were caught red-handed.

Several of the perpetrators were in a getaway van outside. The precinct, working with the district attorney’s office, was able to get indictments on all the suspects, Pegues said.

It appears that this mobile team had committed a rash of burglaries, he said. Since that bust, there have been fewer burglaries, he said.

Two crime categories that are up include grand larceny, which is up nine percent for the year and robbery, which is up 15 percent for the year.

There have been 492 reported grand larcenies thus far in 2008 as compared to 451 at this time last year; and 373 robberies thus far this year as compared to 324 at this point in 2007.

Pegues said that many of the grand larcenies and robberies involve electronics.

Residents sometimes are talking on their cell phone and the thief will just pass them and snatch the cell phone right out of their hand, said Pegues.

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