Deputy Inspector Miltiadis Marmara, commanding officer of the NYPD’s 113th Precinct, found it very difficult to talk about plummeting crime statistics on Monday night.
“Every statistic is a person, or someone’s property,” he said. “Or someone’s 14-year-old daughter.”
Marmara was referring to D’aja Robinson, 14, who on Saturday became the first murder victim in the precinct in 2013 while on a Q6 bus on Sutphin Boulevard [see separate story].
The occasion was the monthly meeting of the 113th Precinct Community Council, which takes place at the Baisley Boulevard stationhouse in Jamaica.
NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks III attended to update people on the investigation. The meeting began and ended with group prayers for Robinson’s family.
Statistics released on Monday show that for the 28-day period ending on Sunday, the precinct was down in every major category compared to the same 28-day period in 2012.
The 113th had two murders by this time last year. Shootings for the month-long period were at three, the same number as last year, though for the year the number has dropped by more than 50 percent, from 21 a year ago to 10.
Rapes were down from two to one, and robberies down significantly in the period from 40 to 18. Felony assaults and burglaries were down slightly, while grand larceny and stolen cars had steep drop-offs.
Grand larceny for the month fell from 42 to 31, while auto thefts dropped from 21 to five.
The grand larceny category involves, among other crimes, identity theft. And in an effort to keep that number going lower, the Council hosted a presentation from Eric Camp, an identity theft prevention expert.
“Everyone thinks identity theft means your credit cards,” Camp said. “But financial crimes make up only 28 percent of all identity theft cases.”
He said other major categories include driver’s licenses, social security numbers and instances where people receive medical treatment or commit crimes with another person’s identity.
“It can be cleared up,” he said. “But it can take a long time.”
He said regular safeguards can help, but that today, just about everyone has a virtual self through computerized bank and medical records, military and driver’s license records and criminal records.
Most in the room raised their hands when Camp asked if they got neighbors’ mail.
“And do you know what that means? “They’re getting yours,” he said. “And if they do not have the same level of integrity as you, they can fill out one of those credit card applications in your name.”
He also said people should leave their Social Security cards at home, rather than in their wallets.
“There is nowhere that accepts that as identification,” he said. “But if it is lost or stolen, someone now has your most important piece of information — your Social Security number.”
He also said to never give away personal information over the phone unless you are the one initiating the call.
Camp said crooks also will root through people’s garbage to garner information from papers that have not been destroyed.
He said even shredding documents with a conventional machine is not a guarantee of safety.
“Get a cross-cut shredder,” he said. “A regular shredder cuts paper into vertical strips. A cross-cut shredder turns it into confetti.”
Also, tearing an application up before throwing it out is not adequate.
He cited an example of a recent experiment where three torn-up credit card applications were pieced together and sent into the soliciting company.
“Two of them were approved,” he said.