Commander Cautions Residents To Be Wary
Bushwick residents learned at last Tuesday’s (Mar. 18) 83rd Precinct Community Council meeting that major crimes increased by 15 percent so far this year.
According to Deputy Inspector Anthony Tasso, the precinct’s commanding officer, grand larceny- particularly identity theft-have been driving the increase.
For the period covering Jan. 1 through the second week of March, there has been a spike, Tasso stated. This is not as alarming as it sounds, he claimed, when viewed in context of very low crime stats in 2013.
The commander noted overall trending lower crime and said, globally in the precinct, “stats are down against 2012.”
He cautioned attendees that leaving a bag, purse or any valuable in a vehicle with the doors locked is not enough of a deterrent to potential perpetrators.
He also advised that in restaurants, bars, clubs or any public place residents should keep their wallets, phones or other valuables on their person to avoid them being stolen.
“You have to mind your property in vehicles, too,” Tasso added.
Swindlers also continue to rip off unsuspecting victims with “Green Dot” money card scams, according to Tasso. He cautioned residents to be suspicious, especially of collection calls after normal business hours.
Nearly all reputable corporations conduct regular business during the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., someone calling at night to demand money is most likely a grifter.
If unsure, Tasso advised to “call us; we’re here to help,” adding, “Don’t be quick to send money.”
According to Tasso, crooks have been known to attach skimmers onto ATMs to steal personal information used for ID thefts. Additionally, the schemes use tiny, pinhole cameras at machines to steal personal identification numbers.
“Skim machines can read your info,” Tasso said, a “device can capture info from (your) card.”
The commander advised Popele using ATM’s to “take your hand and cover the keypad when typing in PIN numbers.”
He also explained further that not all unattended property is stolen from public places, much is lifted from apartments after a party or other event.
Tasso said the precinct is seeing “more (theft) of unattended property in peoples houses.” He said that in the morning following a party the night before “after company is gone, so is some of their property.”
He advised crimes like these can be dodged by monitoring who is invited to parties or events. “Crime like this is easily avoidable,” Tasso said.
Tasso wants to use social media in the precinct to aid officers in crime prevention and investigation efforts.
In this vain, the precinct will open an email tips account so residents can send info directly to an account that Tasso will monitor.
The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Det. Damarys Franco of the 83rd Precinct Community Affairs Unit announced the NYPD has organized several youth summit events, with one for Patrol Borough Brooklyn North scheduled on Monday, Apr. 7.
A flyer from NYPD advises, “youth summits are held in communities to inform the public about the dangers of social media. Also addressed are topics on youth crews and trends in their respective neighborhoods.”
According to Franco, the metings serve to create dialogue with young people, and because “we all know our youth need guidance.”
She also advised residents that an election committee will be formed next month to vote on new community council members.
* * *
The 83rd Precinct Community Council generally meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the 83rd Precinct located at 480 Knickerbocker Ave. in Bushwick.