Today’s news:

Crime up in the 7-0 - But assaults and burglaries down

Crime remains on the rise for the year in the confines of the 70th Precinct.

Rape is up some 39 percent for the year, with 32 reports of rape thus far in 2008 as compared to 23 at this time last year.

“We have had an increase in domestic rapes, meaning a family member against another family member. It can be husband-wife or father-daughter, so we’re up a bit, but there have been no stranger rapes where we are looking for anybody,” said Dep. Inspector Ralph Monteforte, commanding officer of the precinct.

Monteforte said the domestic violence unit remains vigilant in visiting households where there have been complaints, and this is reflected in the felony assault reports being down nearly 30 percent for the year.

There have been 302 reported felony assaults thus far this year as compared to 428 at this time last year.

Burglaries in the precinct have fallen some 17 percent with 348 reported so far in 2008 as compared to 419 at this time last year.

Monteforte credited great response work on the part of police officers in getting to scenes of burglary quickly and following up after the crime is committed.

This last month, cops were able to catch burglars in the act in two instances, which is often hard, as victims aren’t usually aware of being burglarized until after the fact, he said.

Robbery, on the other hand is up nearly 11 percent for the year with 460 reports in 2008 as compared to 415 at this time last year.

Monteforte said much of these crimes have to do with small electronic devices such as BlackBerries and expensive cell phones which are easily snatched.

It is especially important during the holiday season for residents to be aware of this type of crime on commercial corridors, he said.

Grand larceny is up slightly for the year while auto thefts are down slightly.

There have been 744 reported grand larcenies so far this year as compared to 711 at this time in 2007, while there have been 173 auto thefts in 2008 as compared to 179 at this time last year.

Murders are even in the precinct with seven reported thus far this year and seven at this time last year.

At the same time Monteforte said shootings are down about 25 percent with 17 reported this year as compared to 26 at this time in 2007.

Gun arrests are up 40 percent for the year.

The precinct has taken 36 guns off the streets this year without incident, and each firearm taken off the street usually comes with the arrest of several perpetrators involved in the incident, he said.

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