Snow, NYPD freezes would-be criminals

Crime remains low in Northside Williamsburg and Greenpoint, with an assist from the region’s winter storms which depressed criminal activity throughout North Brooklyn.

Yet at a recent 94th Precinct Community Council meeting, Deputy Inspector Dennis Fulton noted that robberies in the neighborhood were one of the few categories on the rise.

So far this year, there have been 24 robberies, as opposed to 16 this time in 2009. That is a 50 percent increase, and a 110 percent increase over the past two years. Fulton insisted police officers are making arrests.

“We’ve locked up 19 people,” said Fulton. “We’re catching them. There have been a couple of times where we have caught suspects, we know they did it, but it hasn’t been recorded yet.”

Fulton detailed a robbery that occurred at a bodega on the corner of Nassau and Manhattan avenues in Greenpoint last week where the suspect was wearing a construction uniform and pulled out a gun on the store clerk. Fortunately, video cameras in the store recorded the robbery and the police are analyzing the tapes.

Meanwhile, assaults are down and burglaries are at about the same rate they were last year, but auto theft remains a problem. Seventeen vehicles have been stolen this year so far, including three Toyota Highlanders, two Toyota Camrys and three Honda Civics, which are among the most popular models coveted by thieves.

“It usually happens overnight and to the same type of vehicles,” said Fulton. “Don’t leave your extra set of keys in the car.”

For those residents whose cars aren’t stolen, navigating the icy, narrow streets for the rest of the winter remains a concern. Fulton reminded community members residents to call the Department of Sanitation to clean their street and lay down salt or sand.