Spike in auto thefts - Brooklyn Paper

Spike in auto thefts

Fort Greene became a motorized mecca for car thieves that flocked to the nabe last week, taking seven vehicles off area streets, police said.

The spike in car thefts in the area set CompStat crime statistics into the stratosphere with a 600 percent jump for the week alone.

During the same week in 2007, only one car was reported stolen in the 88th Precinct, so one could easily see the disparity, and the headache for area cops.

The cars taken included a 2004 BMW X-5, which was taken after its 34-year-old owner erroneously parked it under the BQE near the corner of Park and North Portland avenues on September 18, giving the thief easy access to the highway, a 2009 Kowasaki motorcycle that thieves took off Lafayette Avenue during the early morning hours of September 20, a 2001 Subaru Legacy which was also taken on September 20 – this time from Green Avenue – and a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria removed from Waverly Avenue on September 16.

Police from the 88th Precinct said that a 46-year-old man was arrested for allegedly committing one of the car thefts.

Darnell Simmons was taken into custody when he allegedly tried to take a Honda motor scooter from where it was parked on Waverly Avenue near DeKalb Avenue on the afternoon of September 16.

The vehicle’s owner, a student at the nearby Pratt Institute, was attending class when Simmons allegedly tried to scoot off with it, police said.

Overall, the number of vehicular thefts in the 88th Precinct have declined for the year — by 14.2 percent, statistics show.

Police said that by September 21, 78 vehicles have been taken from area streets this year.

On the same date in 2007, 91 cars had been taken, officials said.

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