Today’s news:

Grand larceny, homeless vex cops

Crime is down in Williamsburg’s north side, but police officers remain vigilant about a rash of grand larcenies and incidents involving a roving homeless population that have occurred throughout the summer.

“It was a pretty uneventful summer,” said Deputy Inspector Dennis Fulton.“This is one of the safest neighborhoods in New York City and New York City is one of the safest cities in the country.”

Crime complaints are down 9.57 percent throughout the yearcompared with 2008, and down 14.46 percent over the past month compared with the same time period last year.

Grand larcenies were the only major crimes category that had an increase in frequency this month compared with last month (32 in 2009 as opposed to 21 in 2008), which Fulton largely attributed to residents leaving property in vehicles and homes and criminals committing repeat crimes.Grand larcenies include leaving property unattended in public, identity theft, leaving property in vehicles specifically, and purse snatching.

“We are only up two for the year (regarding grand larceny) but it is becoming a bigger percentage of total crime,” said Fulton.“Don’t leave valuable things in your car and don’t leave valuables unattended.

At a 94th Precinct Community Council meeting on September 22, residents brought several issues to the attention of police officers regarding thefts and other quality of life issues involving the homeless, though police said the two problems were not related.

“My number one goal is to help these people.They don’t want to go to the shelters.They are moving on and this is a transient population.I haven’t seen the problem for over a month” said Fulton. One resident mentioned that many homeless individuals had been moving to Williamsburg’s southside, to which Fulton responded,“Yeah, they’re not in the 94.”

Fulton emphasized that residents calling 911 when they see or hear suspicious activity on their block, has helped keep the overall crime rates down.

“I appreciate the phone calls and I thank people who bother to care.Working together, that’s the reason we lower crime,” said Fulton.“Hopefully we can solve 99.9 percent of problems. It may not be overnight but I promise we will make the effort.”

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