Beach Hit Hard by Theft
August 6, 2008 by coneynews
During the three-week period ending July 13, the 60th precinct — which serves Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Bensonhurst — saw a 44.1 percent increase in grand larcenies and 17.8 increase in robberies, compared to the same period last year.
Most of the grand larcenies –– there were 24 of them in the second week of July alone — took place on the beach, precinct officials told The Coney Island News. The crime being reported most frequently was the theft of wallets, handbags and other valuables left unattended while their owners were taking a dip in the ocean.
Police officials strongly encourage those visiting the beach to avoid becoming victims by making sure not to leave any valuable items left unattended on the sand, even for a short time.
The year to date has seen 7 percent rise of crime in general over last year. Robberies are up 7 percent and grand larcenies are up 8.5 percent, while felony assaults are up 17.9 percent.
Nearly a quarter of these felony assaults took place in the last two weeks of June.
At this time last year the precinct had just seen its first murder of the year, whereas in 2008 there had already been two. There have been seven rapes reported so far this year, whereas in 2007 there were seven for the whole year.
Still, murders and rapes in particular have fallen dramatically over the past two decades. The 60th precinct saw 21 murders and 52 rapes in 1990, 24 murders and 54 rapes in 1995, and 16 murders and 45 rapes in 1998. Last year, the precinct saw four murders and seven rapes.
Coney Island is dramatically safer than it was in years past. At the end of 2007, crime in general was down 18.16 percent from 2001, 46.38 percent from 1998, 58.92 percent from 1995 and 75.87 percent from 1995.
The Coney Island News was going to launch in July, 2008 as a bi-weekly newspaper serving the greater Coney Island area. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, however, the paper was never published. - Ben Nadler