Flatbush murders up slightly in 2009

The good news on the streets of Flatbush for 2009 is that overall felony crime was down over 12 percent compared to 2008.

The bad news is that the most violent of crimes, murder, was up, as were shootings.

For the year there were nine murders as compared to seven in 2008.

The last two murders occurred Christmas day and the day after Christmas.

The first incident occurred in a Flatbush Avenue apartment near Linden Boulevard last when a young man showed up at his father’s home to learn that the 43-year-old had been shot to death.

Officials said that Nigel Tempro was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the head and shoulder at 10:30 p.m. on December 25.

The next day, police said that 32-year-old Julia Houston, a mother of three, was found shot in the head by her teenage son inside their apartment on Regent Place near Flatbush Avenue just before 1:45 p.m. December 26.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

At the same time, shootings were also up for the year with 27 incidents in 2009 compared to 18 in 2008.

Police though have showed vigilance in increasing their amount of gun arrests for the year with 44 guns taken off the street in 2009 as compared to 29 in 2008.

“We’ve had very good police work in taking guns off the street,” said Dep. Inspector Ralph Monteforte, commanding officer of the 70th Precinct. “They are in the right5 places and the focus of the cops is knowing who’s carrying guns and where. These cops also patrol the right areas at the right times.”

In major felony crime the biggest drop was in rape, which fell 33 percent with 11 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 33 in 2008.

Monteforte said one reason for this drop is that a majority of reported rapes are domestic in nature meaning it often involves incidents where the victim knows the perpetrator.

“Our domestic violence unit had a tremendous year with over 1,000 home visits and doing lectures at schools and community meetings concerning domestic violence,” said Monteforte.

Robbery was down about 26 percent with 382 reported incidents in 2009 as compared to 515 in 08.

Burglaries was down about 10 percent with 368 incidents reported last year as compared to 408 in 2008; and grand larceny was down about 12 percent with 757 incidents last year as compared to 863 in 2008.

Reported auto thefts were up slightly, 211 in 2009 versus 202 in 2008; and felony assaults were down slightly, 336 in 2009 versus 346 in 2008.

– With Thomas Tracy