Police Capt. Terry O’Toole told the United Forties Civic Association last week that common sense can drive down crime statistics — and keep people from becoming statistics themselves.
O’Toole, the executive officer at the 108th Precinct, was discussing its 28-day crime numbers on April 12 at the St. Teresa Parish Center in Woodside.
He quickly came around to a recent uptick in the number of burglaries.
“Access for a lot of these crimes was gained by — surprise, surprise — an unlocked rear door,” O’Toole said. “When I go out, I make sure my back door is locked. I make sure my windows are locked. I make sure the garage door is locked.”
He also said burglary prevention can be as easy as being a good neighbor.
“If you see someone going door-to-door, or hanging out on a fire escape or a common driveway and they don’t belong there, give us a call,” he said.
O’Toole said uniformed officers are not that far away, and that their plain clothes street crime teams may be a lot closer than the average observer thinks “You may not notice them, but they’re out there,” he said.
O’Toole said major crimes for the year are running about average, with 326 reported so far as opposed to 322 by the end of the 14th week of 2011.
“We’re doing about average, and I think we’ll do better,” he said.
He said a lingering problem throughout the city is that of thieves stealing automobile rims and tires, particularly from upscale model vehicles.
“Motor vehicle theft is down because there are all kinds of identification numbers on cars,” he said. “But they don’t have identification numbers on rims. Someone can steal them here and sell them in the 104th or 110th for a pretty penny.”
He also said people should consider marking their personal electronics with some sort of identification number — not a Social Security number — that would make an item more easily identifiable should it be stolen.