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Crime on the decline in the 61st Precinct

If crime fighting was a symphony, then cops from the 61st Precinct would be hitting all the right notes.

Cops from the Coney Island Avenue precinct greeted November knowing that they have seen a nearly 45 percent drop in felony crime for the month, as well as a 25 percent decline for the year, according to recent NYPD CompStat statistics.

Captain George Mastrokostas, the commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, gave a brief sketch of the crime situation during last week’s gathering of the 61st Precinct Community Council, claiming that “things were going well.”

But they seem to be more than well: between October 8 and November 8 the number of robberies in the command dropped by 75 percent, falling from 28 in October 2008 to just seven.

Burglaries in the command had also fallen -- by 59 percent (from 49 to 20). These numbers were followed by grand larcenies, or non-violent thefts over $1000 (which fell by nearly 37 percent) and car thefts, which dropped by just over sixteen percent.

Felony assaults in the command were even at 12, which the command sees as an improvement. Earlier in the year, felony assaults had increased -- by 1.7 percent.

Overall felony crime has dropped by 25 percent for the year although there were spikes in assault and rape reports, which jumped by five to eleven.

While happy with the results, Mastrokostas and his officers understand that despite the low numbers, each one of them represents a crime victim.

“We know that no matter what we say about how well the command is doing, these people had something happen to them so these numbers have no meaning,” he said in earlier interviews. “One crime victim is one too many.”

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

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