Crime has increased nearly 8.4 percent in the 112th Precinct on the year through Dec. 13 compared to the same period in 2019.
But Capt. Joseph Cappelmann, commanding officer of the 112th Precinct, said when dealing with small numbers, the percentage fluctuates more.
The 569 index crimes are a jump from 525 but come out to about one more a week.
“A few crimes in a week will drive my percentage increase significantly whereas in a command that has a lot more crime it won’t move the percent as much,” Cappelmann said. “A lot of times you get caught up on the percentages.”
That’s not to say there haven’t been issues, such as everyone wearing masks due to Covid making it more difficult to find perpetrators in addition to people being released early due to Covid.
“It’s just a whole bunch of things all at once,” he said. “It’s been really a struggle.”
Burglaries have spiked 151 percent, with 123 incidents up from 49. Cappelmann said commercial burglaries have been seeing an uptick after four weeks. He said Queens Boulevard is seeing incidents as well as the first in three months on Metropolitan Avenue.
“They’re pretty much targeting the register,” he said.
The commander said money was removed from donation boxes at Beth Gavriel Bukharian Congregation on 108th Street but an arrest was made.
He said burglars have been tough to track down.
“They’re very difficult to find because they’re not necessarily staying in their residence,” Cappelmann said. “They’re staying in hotels, moving from one place to another and they’re transient. They’re very difficult to find and locate.”
Robberies have increased nearly 53 percent, with 52 incidents up from 34. Vehicle thefts have jumped nearly 66 percent, with 63 incidents compared to 38 last year.
Cappelmann said it’s been the same story all year: keys being stolen, doors being left unlocked or key fobs left in the car.
“The same things are causing us headaches,” he said.
Cappelmann said the precinct tries to educate the public in not leaving vehicles unattended, locking doors of cars at homes and having alarm systems in place.
“That’s what we try to get out there at any public engagements or on Twitter,” he said.
The commander said he hears from residents who say they do not believe they are safe but he remembered his time in the 112th Precinct as a sergeant ten years ago.
“Crime was significantly higher back then,” Cappelmann said, noting numbers are down 25 percent from then.
He said more people are aware of incidents because of different social media platforms and that hearing the same thing several times leads people to believe things are much worse than they really are.
Cappelmann still wants residents to feel at ease.
“Their perception is their reality,” he said. “If they don’t feel safe, I want to reassure them. It still is one of the safest communities in the city. There are very few places that have less crime than we do.”