Good year for 76th Precinct

The 76th Precinct ended the year even better than it began it — reducing overall crime by an additional 6.5 percent.

Overall, there were 550 major crimes reported in the precinct, which covers Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, Boerum Hill, and Gowanus. In 2008, 588 crimes were reported.

At the Jan. 5 meeting of the 76th Precinct Community Council, Captain Kenneth Corey said that even though the precinct had a smaller number of crimes reported compared to 2008, his officers increased their arrests by 13.2 percent — making an additional 118 collars. “We are catching more of the people who commit the crimes.”

Corey, who just notched his first year as the precinct’s commanding officer, said car thefts fell by 11 percent, robberies dropped 23 percent, assaults tumbled 12.5 percent, while burglaries dropped 2.5 percent.

Grand larceny remained flat, with 219 incident reported last year and 2008. Strangely, the number has remained stuck at 219 for the past five years, Corey noted. While grand larcenies, the theft of any item worth over $1,000, fell dramatically in the 1990s, it has since trended upwards, spiking in 2003, when identity theft was included under the category’s umbrella.

Car thefts were down a fraction last year, with 60 cases reported compared to 61 in 2008.Murders were flat, with five reported each of the years. Corey said the murders did not appear to be random acts of stranger on stranger violence. “We believe that with all five of the murders, the victims knew their killers,” the captain noted.

There were seven shootings in 2009, and 14 in 2008, Corey said. The shootings are counted as felonious assaults, or murders, depending on the outcome. Three of the shootings last year were fatal.

While the precinct’s overall crime reduction was significant, it lagged behind the city average of a 10 percent drop. Even so, the precinct is routinely among the top three safest in the five boroughs. Corey deflected credit for the precinct’s success, attributing it to his “hard working cops.”