Coney Island murder up, major felony crime down in 2009

Except for murder, 2009 saw a plummeting of major felony crime in Brighton Beach and Coney Island.

According to the 60th Precinct crime statistics through Dec. 27, 2009, overall felony crime for the year is down a little more than 14 percent.

Murder, though, was up — there were nine reported murders in 2009 as compared to seven in 2008.

Inspector Robert Johnsen, commanding officer of the 60th Precinct, attributed the rise in murder to a spike earlier in the year of violent crime in the western end of Coney Island.

Since police made that area an Impact Zone, where cops are flooded into the area, crime has gone down in that neighborhood, Johnsen said.

“Cops there have been out there doing a fantastic job,” he said.

Corresponding to the crime of murder, however, the precinct saw a rise in shooting and shooting victims for the year.

In 2009, there were 21 shootings and 24 shooting victims.

In 2008, there were 17 shootings and 20 shooting victims, Johnsen said.

Johnsen said final gun arrests for the year will be about even with both 2008 and 2009 seeing about 30 gun arrests.

On the plus side, robbery will finish the year down over 27 percent with 236 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 324 in 2008.

Burglary is down a little more than 16 percent with 145 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 173 in 2008.

Reported felony assaults finished down more than 15 percent with 214 incidents last year as compared to 253 in 2008.

Auto theft finished down about 11 percent with 95 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 107 in 2008.

Grand larceny was down slightly with 524 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 558 in 2008.

There were 10 reported rapes last year down from the 15 reported incidents in 2008.

At press time Johnsen was transferred to the counter terrorism unit at One PolicePlaza after a tenure of seven years heading the 60th Precinct.

The new commanding officer of the precinct is Dep. Inspector Peter DeBlasio.

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