Today’s news:

Area robberies down

Robberies, particularly teen-on-teen muggings, are starting to even out under the watchful eyes of cops from the 61st Precinct.

Yet while robberies in the 61st Precinct have jumped this year by just over 20 percent, they have ebbed over the last month, Captain George Mastrokostas, the commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, told members of the 61st Precinct Community Council Wednesday.

Talking to the gathering at the Bainbridge Center, Mastrokostas explained that robberies in the command are starting to level off.

On October 12, robberies in the command were up by nearly 22 percent. The more recent 20 percent increase shows a downward decline, he said, adding that just last week, six robberies were reported — equal to the number reported the same week the year before.

Statistics show that over the last month, 27 robberies had taken place.

A good portion of those robberies were teen-on-teen thefts, Mastrokostas explained, adding that the hottest items continue to be cell phones.

Teen-on-teen theft is a common plague experienced by many of the surrounding precincts, including the 62nd Precinct in Bensonhurst and the 63rd Precinct in Marine Park, officials said.

To combat the situation, cops are encouraging teens to always be wary of their surroundings when they are either using their phones or texting their friends.

Cops are also encouraging residents, particularly teens, to get their iPods and cell phones registered with the NYPD — a move that will make them less desirable to thieves.

“We’ve reached out to all the high schools and the junior high schools and asked them to contact their PTAs [Parent Teacher Associations] about our phone registration plan,” Mastrokostas explained. “Other than that, we’re paying special attention to the school corridors and the parks — where kids congregate.”

According to recently released CompStat figures, the 61st Precinct is also experiencing a slight up-tick in burglaries.

Over the last month, 49 burglaries had been reported. At the same time in 2007, 34 robberies had been reported.

So far, there has been only one addition burglary this year when compared to last year, officials said.

Felony assault and car thefts remain low and have decreased by nearly seven percent and eleven percent each, statistics show.

The 61st Precinct protects residents in Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Homecrest and parts of Midwood.

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