Today’s news:

Local cops report drop in crime

Crime continues to be down by double digits in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.

As of May 10, the 68th Precinct had recorded a 26.41 percent drop in the seven major crime categories, compared to the year before — well larger than the 12.34 percent reduction recorded citywide for the same time period.

“We’re down about 102 crimes for the year,” Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez told members of the 68th Precinct Community Council, gathered at the Knights of Columbus, 13th Avenue and 86th Street, for a joint meeting with the 62nd Precinct Community Council.

“That’s kind of phenomenal,” Rodriguez went on, because, he stressed, “Last year was one of the best years we’ve had in crime reduction.”

Indeed, the precinct is down in six of the seven major crime categories, rape, robbery, felonious assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto. The news is even better in the seventh crime category — murder. There have been no murders year to date, in the precinct, mirroring last year’s pattern so far. In 2008, the 68th Precinct was one of a handful in the city to have not a single murder.

The largest decrease the precinct has recorded is in burglaries, down 50 percent year to date, with 48 so far in 2009, compared with 96 at this time last year. Also way down are felonious assaults. With 18 so far this year, compared to 31 at this time in 2008, the precinct is down 41.9 percent in that crime category.

Robberies are also way down. There have been 37 so far this year, compared with 54 at this point in 2008, for a 31.5 percent reduction. Rapes are also down, 25 percent, with three so far in 2009, compared with four at this time last year. Grand larcenies are down 13.9 percent. There have been 118 year to date, compared to 137 at this time in 2008. Finally, incidences of grand larceny auto are down 7.4 percent. There have been 63 so far in 2009, compared to 68 at this time last year.

Nonetheless, Rodriguez urged his listeners to be careful with their belongings. “One issue we are starting to see pop up,” he told the group, “is (theft of) property in cars.” You should never leave valuables in your car, in view, he stressed, noting that even a suction cup on a windshield (indicating the use of a GPS device) is enough to encourage a perpetrator to break into the vehicle.

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