Crime on the rise

A string of burglaries in the Mill Basin and Marine Park area has merchants buying new security systems and residents fearing for the safety of their homes.

Between June 28 and July 4, there were six burglaries in the 63rd Precinct, which spans Marine Park, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach and parts of Flatlands and Flatbush. One occurred on July 2 when a burglar broke into the back door of the Save-A-Thon crafts store on Flatbush Avenue between Avenues T and U and stole $550.

“It’s the first time this happened,” said Howard Prince, the manager. “I’m concerned so we’re putting in new gates and cameras.”

Marine Park and Mill Basin residents are also concerned about the incidents. According to NYPD statistics, there were 124 burglaries in the 63rd Precinct so far this year, making for a 31.9-percent increase from the same period in 2009.

“That’s a pretty big jump,” said Stewart Street resident John Westbay. “I think I have to get myself another dog.”

Neighbors are trying to protect themselves by installing alarm systems and securing air conditioners, which can be easily pushed in to allow burglars access to open windows.

“My house is completely alarmed,” said East 57th Street resident John Castorino. “We have a sensor and the doors are always locked.”

If more burglaries occur, the city may need to send additional cops to the 63rd Precinct, said Paul Curiale, president of the Mill Basin Civic Association.

“We might need more police to be a deterrent for people who want to rob and want to take from others because of these tough economic times,” he said.

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