Today’s news:

Recent Surge in Car Thefts in Canarsie

Owners of Maximas and Camrys need to be careful.

In Canarsie, those two vehicle models are the most popular cars among thieves who steal vehicles for their parts, according to Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct.

Marmara updated Canarsie residents on crime in the neighborhood during the November meeting of the Friends United Block Association (FUBA), which was held at Temple Shaare Emeth, 6012 Farragut Road.

Overall, crime is way down in the community, Marmara told the group. This year, so far, has seen a 14.94 reduction over figures posted in 2008, according to CompStat statistics posted on the NYPD website, as of November 1st, including decreases in each of the seven major crime categories.

“The only blip we’re seeing in the past couple of weeks is stolen cars,” he added.

In the 28-day period ending November 1st, incidences of Grand Larceny Auto were up 62.5 percent, compared to a year ago, with 26 in that period in 2009, compared to 16 in the same time period in 2008.

Even with that, however, GLAs are down in Canarsie for the year. This year, there have been 150, compared to 181 last year at this time, for a reduction of 17.1 percent, according to CompStat.

Reductions in the other crime categories range from .5 percent in robberies (204 so far this year, compared to 205 at this point last year) to 27.7 percent in felonious assaults (99 so far in 2009, compared to 137 at this point in 2008).

In between were burglaries, down 21.8 percent (133 so far this year, compared to 170 at this point last year); rapes, down 20 percent (12 so far this year, compared to 15 last year); murders, down 16.7 percent (five so far in 2009, compared to six at this point in 2008); and grand larcenies, down 13.5 percent (257 year to date, compared to 297 at this time last year).

Marmara also told his listeners that the 69th Precinct had picked up a few key suspects in the past few days, including three girls who allegedly attacked an elderly woman on Election Day, and the individual who is believed to have committed the homicide of a young man earlier this year.

In the case of the assault, some of the credit goes to area residents, Marmara added. “The good people of Canarsie heard their neighbor cry for help and called 911,” he explained. “Because of that, we were able to respond quickly and locate the three girls.”

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