The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Crime Blotter

God bless crime-tracking duo Nicole and Vinnie for continuing to create a blotter specific to Sector C of the 71st. Sector "Charlie" essentially conforms to the Lefferts area, as the community district (a/k/a precinct) is quite large, and in certain ways conforms to the notion of "quadrants," with Empire Blvd as the horizontal intersector. (Shouldn't that be a word?)

 Anyone who's followed the Q for long knows that I've been spittin' mad about crime for the better part of 3 years. After a crazy run of violence in the precinct, things have calmed down quite a bit in the last six months (crossed fingers) leading to a pretty solid set of "numbers" from Compstat for the year. Deputy Inspector Jack Lewis was ousted a couple months back, presumably for the high numbers. Just before getting the ax, or rather "being transferred to borough commander for school safety," he suggested at a Community Council meeting that they had made great progress in getting the worst repeat offenders off the street. Was he responding to pressure when making these investigations and arrests? It's hard to say. But needless to say, it didn't hurt. Community outrage over shootings all over the Lefferts area didn't let up and the Q is thankful to you all for your attention to what has been frequently noted as the number one concern among neighbors. We kept hammering, even calling attention to the problem at the D.A.'s office, which claims it set up investigations of its own. That's the best we could do I guess, other than getting truly serious about block watches. An investigator contacted me at one point for a private meeting where he told me to continue with the D.A. task force and feed him and Brooklyn South information, but he made it clear that I should not identify myself as a leader of anti-gang efforts. Keep a low profile he cautioned. Frankly, no one but my friends and the super-curious even know what I look like, so I wasn't really worried. The drug dealers in my area are still just as creepily friendly with me as ever. The rumor on the street is that I'm an ex-cop, which tickles me to death given my background. But I kinda look the part of a 20-and-out guy. Actually, that could be me second from the left in this picture:
In winter I often wear my super swell old cops coat and, get this, a $3 hat from the Gem that says FBI. A lady on the street actually asked me if I was from the FBI! I love it! Ever seen those guys from the Feds with their ridiculous FBI jackets on? Is that the easiest uniform to fake you've ever seen, or what? It's like if the marines wore a headband that said "marines."

The crime stats that I keep my eye on are felony assaults and shootings. As a detective once told me, murders are a misleading indicator of general safety, for a couple of reasons. One, whether or not a person dies from their wounds is not a good indication of anything but luck and hospital care. Two, the numbers in a single precinct can vary wildly throughout the year and year to year percentage wide, but the total number of murders aren't great enough to produce a representative sample. For instance, say four people are killed in a single incident. That could massively up your numbers, but the incident itself may not suggest a massive increase in crime generally. It's all so gruesome, of course. But worth noting.

As to whether a neighborhood is "crime ridden," well, that seems to me a matter of perception and comfort level. Not to overstate things, but they really DON'T have crime in Park Slope. There, I said it. They don't. Shit just don't happen there. When it does, it's a big, big deal. Some iPhones get stolen. There's some domestic stuff. Occasionally there's a break-in. But if you want to be super safe, you could do a lot worse than to spend ALL of your time in Park Slope. And no offense, because I like the Slope and it's calm tree-lined streets, but if I had to be stranded on a desert neighborhood for the rest of my life, I'd choose ours over theirs in a heartbeat. Again, it's just personal preference. But I'd die of boredom. And really, what the heck is there to blog about? That's why FIPS (short for f*cked in park slope) has to resort to filthy language to keep things interesting. (I jest; it's a fun site when it's not being douchey - sounds a little like the Q).

So how did the 71 finish up? The quiet from September - December did a lot of good for the arbitrary yearly round-up. Here's the last report, and you'll see that felony assaults came way down for the year from where it was in summer. We were up just 8% and shootings kinda came down. Shocking, right? Remember how it felt back in August?

Folks, we're going to meet up at the end of this on January 30 at Play Kids to talk to the new commander, Dep Insp Fitzgibbon. Please come. 7 pm. We need to show the cops how serious we are AND how important it is for the cops to know the neighborhood, its people, its merchants and its culture. We don't need a crackdown. We need smart, sensitive policing.

And now, the Fabri/Martinos report, created by hand, remember. If you see something missing, please let us know:

Crime Report
October 4, 2013 - January 10, 2014
October 10th, 10PM. Bedford and Midwood. Gunpoint robbery of credit card and money.
October 12th, 7:30PM. 159 Winthrop. Attempted robbery, no property removed.
October 12th, 6:30AM. Parkside & Ocean. Cell phone snatched.
October 14th, 10PM. Flatbush and Hawthorne. Cellphone snatched. 20 yr old female arrested.
October 16th, 6:20AM. Bedford and Parkside. Credit cards and cell phone taken.
October 16th, 5PM. 322 Rutland. Credit card and debit card stolen.
October 16th, 7:20PM. 231 Fennimore. Cell phone snatched.
October 18th, 3:30PM. 668 Flatbush. Commercial location. Store was robbed at gunpoint.
October 18th, 9:30PM. 239 Ocean Ave. Purse snatched. 
October 20th, 5:20PM. 691 Parkside. Cell phone snatched.
October 23rd, 8PM.  597 Flatbush Avenue. Cell phone snatched at gunpoint.
October 24th, 10AM. Bedford and Parkside. Gunpoint robber, cash taken.
October 25th, 9:15PM. 44 Empire. Robbery from store, arrest was made.
November 1st, 2:30AM. 11 Maple. Female handbag stolen.
November 2nd, 1PM. Flatbush and Ocean. Cell phone snatched.
November 6th, 11:35AM. 44 Empire. Man ordered food at McDonalds and left with the food, refusing to pay.
November 8th, 6:20PM. 601 Parkside. Money taken at gunpoint.
November 8th, 5:30PM. 560 New York Avenue. Perp removed small speakers from person.
November 10th, 3:45AM. 150 Hawthorne. Cell taken at knifepoint.
November 13th, 3PM. Nostrand and Sterling. Cell phone snatched, female victim. Arrest was made.
November 14th, 3AM. 335 Lefferts. Wallet taken.
November 17th, 3AM. 2121 Beekman. Cash taken by physical force, victim punched in face.
November 18th, 7PM. 28 Maple. Simulated firearm, cash taken.
November 21st, 9PM. Midwood and New York. Money was taken – arrest was made.
December 8th, 6:30PM. Ocean and Parkside. Victim (male) punched, cell phone taken.
December 9th, 7PM. 537 Flatbush commercial store. Robbed at gunpoint.
December 12th, 12:30AM. 552Parkside. Attempted to take victim’s bank card, arrest was made.
December 16th, 7:30. Sterling and Nostrand. Cell snatched.
December 17th, 3PM. Bedford and Parkside. Knife point robbery (perp was 15, victim was 11 years old).
December 21st, 130AM. Bedford and Hawthorn. Cell phone taken.
December 21st, 6:30PM. 135 Hawthorne. Cell phone snatched.
December 22nd, 1AM. 200 Winthrop. Choked victim and took credit card.
December 22nd, 1PM. New York and Maple. Cell phone taken, arrest was made.
December 26th, 9PM. 612 Flatbush. Jewelry taken at gunpoint from male victim.
December 29th, midnight. 374 Hawthorne. Displayed firearm. Credit card and money taken.
January 1st, 1AM. 150 Hawthorne Street. Female handbag stolen.
Felony Assaults
October 8th, 10:30PM. Nostrand and Winthrop train station. Victim assaulted with stick, minor injuries to head. Victim refused to press charges.
October 21st, 12:30AM. Nostrand and Winthrop train station. Victim hit with umbrella. Arrest was made.
October 25th, 125 Hawthorne. Female was hit with belt, arrest was made.
November 9th, 2:PM. 388 Midwood. Person was cut with cutting instrument.
December 9th, Nostrand and Flatbush. Person was hit with bottle.
December 23th, 11:00PM. Parkside and New York. Female was stuck in head by unknown object. Arrest was made.
October 10th, 9PM. 1069 Nostrand. Came in through rear window, took electronics.
October 30th, 4:30PM. 1283 Nostrand came in through window. Took electronics.
October 30th, 11:00PM. 566 Parkside. Came in through rear window and took electronics.
October 30th, 8:30AM. 441 Rogers. Came in through front door and took electronics.
November 3rd, 12:00PM. 236 Fennimore. Entered through rear window, took money and electronics.
November 5th, 9AM. 54 Lincoln. Apartment building. No sign of forced entry. $1200 taken.
November 9th. 305 Parkside Ave. Came in through front door and took electronics.
November 18th, 7:30AM. 2015 Bedford. Came in through window and took electronics.
December 8th, 10PM. 191 Winthrop. Rear window, took food.
December 11th, 9PM. 316 Rutland. Took electronics and cash.
December 20th, midnight. 215 Midwood Street. Came in through front door and arrest was made.
Grand Larceny (No physical force between victim and perp)
October 3rd, 6PM. 590 Flatbush. Credit card and cash taken.
October 8th, 12:30PM. Ocean and Lincoln. Cell taken from person.
October 24th, 11:30PM. Ocean and Lincoln. Cell phone taken from person.
October 29th, 7PM. Flatbush and Ocean. Credit card taken.
October 31st, 7:45PM. Nostrand and Midwood. Cell phone taken.
November 3th, 3PM. 657 Rogers. Cell phone taken from person.
November 15th, 5PM. 665 Flatbush. Hair extensions taken.
November 16th, 5:30PM. Empire and Flatbush. Cell phone taken from person.
November 22, noon. 400 Empire. Jewelry taken.
November 23rd, 2PM. 590 Flatbush. Cash and credit cards taken.
November 25th, 7PM. Beekman and Flatbush. Cell phone taken. Female was victim.
November 30th, 9PM. Empire and Bedford. Cell phone taken from person.
December 1st, 11AM. Bedford and Clarkson. Cell phone taken from person.
December 3rd, 3AM. Nostrand and Winthrop. Cell phone taken from person.
December 6th, 2AM. Parkside and New York. Purse taken from car.
December 8th, 3:30AM. 67 Rogers. Cell phone and credit cards taken from car.
December 16th, 9:30PM. 558 Parkside. Credit card taken from person.
December 26th, 5:45PM. 1220 Nostrand. Cell phone taken from person.
Grand Larceny Auto
October 8th, 1AM. Flatbush and Parkside. 2013 White Chevy Impala taken.
October 16th,  10:30AM. 346 Parkside. 2009 red motorcycle taken.
October 19th, 8AM. 125 Hawthorne. 2003 Green Toyota taken.
November 8th, 9:30PM. 566 Parkside. 2000 blue Ford Crown taken.
November 8th, 11AM. Ocean Avenue. Boyfriend and girlfriend. Arrest was made.


Rudy on Winthrop said...

If you are reading this comment on Saturday the 11th of January: How about coming out to Parkside to help build some treeguards? The advance team will be out there from about 11:30 on, and we need all the help we can get. Bring your shovel!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the grand larceny on 11/15: are thefts of hair extensions up or down this year?

Alex said...

These reports drive me nuts.

I'm glad that crime is down, but there's not necessarily any relationship between police work and changes in crime stats. Weather us a huge variable in crime rates, for example, and it makes sense that December would be quiet because it's winter. I would much rather see a report on what the precinct is actually DOING. Are they recovering illegal weapons? Arresting for distribution? Closing down fronts?

I've seen no noticeable change in enforcement so I do not attribute much if the drop in crime to the 71st.

Anonymous said...

Alex is right about everything. We never ever hear exactly what the precinct is doing. And I too have not seen any noticable change in enforcement. As for stats, yes absolutely weather is the main factor and the NYPD knows that. We can't compare # of shootings now to what occurred in Spring and Summer. Instead, let's compare this coming Spring and Summer to last Summer to see if there's been any progress. Hope there is but we know nothing now. One big concern I had seeing this report was all the robberies of businesses. Can we hear from NYPD if they're forming a task force for that? Is it the same person? Because we don't usually see such a rash of those like we do here. I worry for the safety of neighbors who have opened or are opening new businesses in our neighborhood.

Alex said...

I spoke to Dr. Eugene's office yesterday, and there seems to be real interest in doing something about the fact that the 71st does not provide badly needed enforcement. Their lack of intervention with the terrible traffic back in December serves as a great example as a jumping off point because the crisis was SO visible that no one could have missed it. On top of that, the tone deaf response from the precinct that included mention that officers were inconvenienced by the traffic was ridiculous.

As everyone knows, enforcement is lacking in just about every category in our neighborhood. I am pushing for a public hearing on the failings of the 71st from which we can expect actionable steps toward improvement.

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Eugene's office" + "real interest" = does not compute.