The first Build the Block meeting of the year for the 69th Precinct’s Sector David featured discussions between residents and local officers about common crimes and quality of life issues.
The meeting, held on Thursday, February 16th at the Hebrew Educational Society, 9502 Seaview Avenue, was led by Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) Ioana Matiuta and Gunvinder Singh.
They spoke to the roughly 10 residents who attended about the most common crimes they’re seeing in the sector — which spans from Avenue L to Canarsie Park in one direction and from East 94th Street to Paerdegat Avenue North in the other — and how to avoid them. At the top of their list were car theft, package theft and robberies of the elderly.
Since January 1st, there have been four car thefts just in Sector D alone, about a 1.2 square mile area.
Car thefts in this community usually happen because the owner has left the car on, running and with the keys inside, the officers said. This is common when people are unloading groceries into their homes or are quickly running into a store.
“Please don’t do that,” Singh said. “It’s very easy to steal vehicles like that.”
The next most common crime lately has been people stealing packages off houses’ doorsteps. The officers said to never leave a package sitting outside. If you think you’ll be out when a package is supposed to be delivered, you should have it delivered to a pickup site instead or use the delivery instructions to tell the deliverer to place the package in a non-obvious place.
“You think you have a Ring doorbell camera, it’s going to prevent them from doing it, absolutely not because guess what?” Matiuta said. “Everyone can wear a mask and when you wear a mask, what happens? We cannot identify you. Ever.”
The officers said thieves will even trail behind delivery vans and check each package that gets dropped off. If it’s heavy, they take it since there’s a higher chance it’ll hold something valuable than if it’s light.
Common quality of life issues in the area are derelict and abandoned cars taking up parking spots.
A car is derelict if it’s old, damaged or missing parts, rendering it valueless. Derelict cars are not handled by the NYPD; they’re tagged and picked up by the Department of Sanitation.
A car is abandoned if it hasn’t been moved in the past seven days or hasn’t been moved for alternate side parking. Usually, abandoned cars have random or no plates. When there’s a resident who owns a fully insured, licensed car but doesn’t move it often, that isn’t considered abandoned — only if the car is uninsured, unlicensed and doesn’t move. These situations are handled by the police.
However, sometimes the owners of derelict vehicles try to bypass the system so their cars aren’t junked by Sanitation. They’ll remove the tags Sanitation placed on the tires and put a fake license plate on the car, such as a photo of a plate or one printed off the internet.
Once this happens, Sanitation can’t touch the car because it has plates and NYPD can’t touch it because it’s derelict.
“This is like a never-ending cycle of people just dumping cars in Canarsie,” Matiuta said.