Uptick in murder rocks East Flatbush

With five murders in a little more than the first five weeks of 2010, violent crime continues to haunt the streets of East Flatbush.

Last year the precinct led Patrol Borough Brooklyn South with 18 murders, and for two of the past three years the 67th Precinct led the city in gun arrests.

“We’re not happy when there’s any bloodshed in the streets,” said Dep. Inspector Corey Pegues, commanding officer of the 67th Precinct.

Pegues said three of the murders happened inside an apartment in a domestic violence incident where a boyfriend killed his girlfriend and two kids.

Police can’t control domestic situations inside an apartment, he said.

“The second homicide we believe was gang related and the third had gang implications…We’re close to solving one of those,” said Pegues.

Pegues noted that the precinct’s former commanding officer, Robert Boyce, now heads the city’s gang unit and he has a soft spot for the 67th Precinct so the area does get gang coverage from the police when it’s needed.

“But it’s just like a lot of other things in the City of New York. Since 2001, we’re down about 6,000 cops. Everyone’s hurting and there’s not a lot to go around, but we get our fair share in the 6-7 Precinct from the gang unit,” he said.

The precinct’s last murder occurred Feb. 9, when police said that they were called to East 95th Street between East New York Avenue and Rutland Road just before midnight on a report of shots fired.

When they arrived at the scene, they found Sheldon Christopher, 33, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the body. He was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward.

Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Other reported major felony crime up for the year is auto theft, which has risen about 72 percent with 38 reported cars stolen so far in 2010 as compared to 22 at this time in 2009.

Robbery is up about 15 percent with45 incidents so far this year as compared to 39 at this time last year, while grand larceny is marginally with 61 incidents reported so far in 2010 as compared to 59 at this time last year.

On a positive note, reported felony assaults is down nearly 35 percent with 34 incidents so far this year as compared to 52 at this time in 2009.

Burglaries are down a little more than 14 percent with 42 incidents reported so far in 2010 as compared to 49 at this time last year.

– with Tom Tracy