Winter not so wonderful for 63rd Precinct cops

The first two months of 2010 may have been icy, but it hasn’t been as smooth as a frozen-over lake for cops in the 63rd Precinct.

Cops from the Brooklyn Avenue command have seen upticks in robberies and car thefts over the past two months, although the precinct still touts that overall felony numbers are down by nearly 10 percent.

Gathering with the 63rd Precinct Community Council at the Kings Plaza Community Room last week, Cangiarella admitted to the roller coaster ride the precinct has been having, but explained that the increase in robberies was due to a jump in January — muggings his officers have made arrests on. Robberies have been down over the past week and the past month, he said.

The eight percent jump in robberies equates to just three more incidents. Despite the small number he and his officers treat each crime seriously.

Cangiarella did warn residents about the upswing in car thefts, which jumped 33 percent this year, from 24 in 2009 to 32 this year.

In a deviation to previous car theft spikes, the cars taken run the gamut of makes and models, from the traditional Toyotas and Hondas to minivans.

While cars are being swiped all over the command, a cluster of them were taken off the streets of Flatlands, he explained, as he encouraged residents to better secure their cars against thieves and those who don’t want to take the entire car — just the tires or the stuff inside.

Cangiarella recommended that as his officers combat the ever-present trends in tire thefts and car break-ins, car owners pay extra close attention about leaving their personal items and electronics in their vehicles. They should also invest in wheel locks, which do not prevent the movement of the car, but make it harder for someone to remove the tire.

Despite these crimes, grand larcenies — which include car break-ins and tire swipes — were down in the 63rd Precinct for the year, by 19 percent. Burglaries and assaults were also down, by 17 percent and 40 percent respectively.

Over the last two years, felony crime has fallen by nearly 17 percent in the 63rd Precinct, which encompasses Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Georgetowne and Flatlands.