The 63rd Precinct has seen a 60% spike in crime over the past month, Commanding Officer Rachael Kosak reported at the monthly Community Council meeting, held on April 26th at the Kings Plaza Community Center on Flatbush Avenue.
Last year, there were about 20 major crimes per month, with an average of about nine major crimes per week. This April has seen 80 major crimes, a 34% increase from March’s 60 crimes. Overall, this amounts to a 60% increase in crime from last year. Deputy Inspector Kosak explained that last year was a particularly low crime year.
Shoplifting at Kings Plaza Shopping Center is one of the most prevalent crimes. Thieves aren’t stealing people’s bags as much as they are grabbing merchandise off shelves and pocketing it, although shoppers should be cognizant of their belongings, as well.
“It’s safe to come in here and shop; it truly is,” Kosak said. “There’s no other concerns that I would say in coming here. But the stores are having issues with keeping their property in there.”
In Marine Park, car break-ins are one of the primary crimes. There has also been a rash of tire and rim theft in the area, which Kosak said are most commonly happening to 2020-2022 Honda Accords. On the morning of April 22nd alone, there were five reports of these thefts.
“They’re moving fast when they come in, they’re loading up the tires and taking off,” she said. “We are increasing our presence at night — some of it you’re going to see, some of it you won’t, and that’s intentional that you won’t see all the cops there.”
Another recent Marine Park crime was when an elderly woman was robbed at knifepoint last week. The man has been identified by police but not yet arrested.
“Just try to keep that in mind when you’re in these open spaces,” Kosak said. “You don’t necessarily know who’s coming around you.”
In terms of quality-of-life issues, parking related issues, as always, take the cake. April 19th was the monthly tow operation, where 32 abandoned cars were removed from the street. To remove an abandoned car in your neighborhood, send its location, make and model to your Neighborhood Coordination Officer.
Attendees complained of a similar issue – trucks and trailers parked where they’re not supposed to be or driving down “no-trucks-allowed” streets. Both the precinct and a representative of the community board said they would look into these issues.
A group of attendees complained about a man who lives in the Philip Howard Co-op Buildings at 1655 Flatbush Avenue. He walks around the complex naked or in underwear and will harass other residents by banging on or carving x’s into apartment doors. The officers said they would look into the situation.
On a positive note, Patrol Officer Liliana Cruz was awarded Cop of the Month, earning her a placard, an updated police photo and a VIP parking spot at the precinct for one month.