Burglaries up 24 percent in Lower Manhattan
By Albert Amateau
Crime in the First Precinct declined by nearly seven percent as of Dec. 28, 2003 from the same date in 2002, a bigger decline than the decrease of 5.16 percent in the citywide crime rate, according to the New York City Police Department reports that track and compare the seven major categories of crime, precinct by precinct, in the five boroughs.
Burglaries, however, showed a 24 percent increase in the precinct that covers Lower Manhattan south of the Brooklyn Bridge and includes the South Village and Hudson Sq. neighborhoods south of Houston St. There were 385 burglaries as of last Dec. 28 compared to 308 the previous year.
Most of the burglaries were commercial, said Capt. Michael Hurley, commanding officer, and the spike is partly because were comparing against the early part of 2002 when there was still some of the massive police presence after Sept. 11. Indeed, in April of last year, burglaries were up 75 percent from the same month in 2002, but from July 1 to Dec. 28, there was a marginal decrease, Hurley said.
Two murders were reported last year and two the year before in the First Precinct. However, nine rapes were reported last year, two more than the previous year. Robberies fell by 25 percent, 156 down from 208 the previous year. Assaults also declined, 130 last year down 17.7 percent from 158. Grand larceny reports totaled 1,765, an 8.7 percent decline from 1,934. Auto theft declined 15.7 percent, 118 compared to 140.
There were three murders in Chinatowns Fifth Precinct last year and none the year before but generally, crime was down by 8.24 percent from the previous year. Rape declined significantly, with six reported last year compared to 11 the year before. There were 189 robberies, down 23.7 percent from 194 the year before and assaults were down 19.8 percent with 89 reported compared to 111 the previous year. Burglaries were down slightly, 208 last year compared to 212 in 2002. There were 665 grand larcenies, down 2.6 percent from 683 and auto theft dropped to 72, down 17.2 percent from 87.
Overall crime was down 5.66 percent last year from the previous year, but six murders were reported compared to five the year before in the Lower East Side precinct bounded by Allen St., Houston St. and the East River . The incidence of rape increased, with 11 reported last year compared to seven the previous year. Robbery declined slightly to 184 from 186 and assaults were the same, 133 for 2003 and 2002. Burglary was down 12.2 percent to 150 from 171. Grand larcenies were marginally higher, 244 last year compared to 242, but auto theft was down 22.2 percent to 122 from 157.