East Flatbush crime down in 2009

The streets of East Flatbush are still rough and tough, but crime plummeted in 2009, according to unofficial year-end statistics.

Crime in the 67th Precinct was down in the major felony crimes of murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft nearly 10 percent in 2009.

There were 2,063 total crimes in these areas as compared to 2,283 total crimes in 2008.

The biggest drops were in robbery, which fell nearly 19 percent, and grand larceny, which dropped about 22 percent.

There were 395 reported robberies in 2009 as compared to 487 in 2008; and 476 grand larcenies in 2009 as compared to608 in 2008.

“The reduction in robbery was huge for us,” said Dep. Inspector Cory Pegues, commanding officer of the 67th Precinct.

Pegues credited a big part of the reduction in robbery to having the robbery squad take robbery complaints as opposed to the beat cops.

“We’ll stay with that focus and hopefully see another reduction this year,” Pegues said.

Violent crime in the precinct remained somewhat of a problem with 18 reported murders, the same number as in 2008.

Actually, there were 20 people killed, but the district attorney’s office recently deemed two incidents as justifiable homicide.

The precinct was also up slightly in shootings with 68 in 2009 as compared to 62 in 2008, and was down slightly in gun arrests with 161 last year as compared to 167 in 2008.

In the past three years the precinct has taken almost 600 guns off the street, said Pegues.

Looking ahead to 2010, Pegues said the precinct was cleared by the legal department to electronically combat crime through emailing and text messaging people in the community about crime trends, including sketches of wanted criminals.

Pegues said the precinct already has a data base of about 3,000 email addresses and asks everyone who fills out a crime report if they wish to give their email addresses.

Residents will also be able to give their email addresses at community meetings, Pegues said.

“Hopefully this will help deter crime in East Flatbush,” he said.

Pegues said he also plans on working with the local clergy to help take guns off the street.

“Just like they pass the plate asking for money, they will ask parishioners to help stop gun violence and support programs to take guns off the street,” he said.

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