Link crime to mortgage

Blame the banks!

Police can’t find an exact reason for the uptick in violent crimes in Canarsie over the last few months — including two shootings and a home invasion this week — but they think the country’s sub-prime mortgage crisis might have something to do with it.

Police sources said half of the violence in the neighborhood has been committed by people who have rented out rooms by homeowners feeling the mortgage pinch.

“People are illegally renting out rooms in their homes to people they do not know,” said one police source. “The homeowner is in a bind and they’re renting pieces of their homes to not the most credible people.”

Sources said that after investigating recent shootings, they’ve determined that either the victim or the killer are recent additions to the neighborhood.

The theory certainly tracks with the latest homicide to take place in Canarsie.

On Aug 31, someone shot a 33-year-old in the head during a fierce exchange inside a home on Avenue K between E. 102nd and E. 103rd streets. While the killer is still at large, police said that the homeowner — the victim — had sublet illegal apartments to four strangers before the 1:30 am shooting.

Other violent acts to occur in the last few days include:

• A gunman opened fire at the corner of Rockaway Parkway and Seaview Avenue on Aug. 29 during a daring daytime shooting.

The victim told police he was shot near the corner at 11 am, although his injury was not life threatening. This is the second shooting to take place in this area in August, the first being on Aug. 1.

• Thieves forced their way into an address near the corner of E. 83rd Street and Glenwood Road on Aug. 25 robbing the homeowner inside. The resident was injured, but not seriously and police sources believe the thieves knew their victim.

Detectives are adding the killing, shooting and home invasion to five other acts of violence that took place this summer, which includes a fatal Flatlands Avenue stabbing on Aug. 16 and a home invasion on Avenue K near Church Lane that ended in the murder of a 60-year-old plumber on July 29.

Besides the bank angle, police haven’t found any connections to the violent crimes..

“We’re always looking for commonalities,” said Deputy Inspector Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct. ”But we’re not finding any relationships or trends behind these shootings,” he said.

Marmara did say that if homeowners have any concerns that their tenants are up to something criminal, they should report their suspicions to police.

“We’ll do what we can to investigate,” Marmara said. “We want to do anything we can to catch the bad guys.”

Anyone with information regarding this week’s killing or last week’s home invasion and shooting can contact CrimeStoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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