Notes from the Ninth: More Officers, Less Burglaries, Uptick in iPad Swipes

IMG_3074Stephen Rex Brown Capt. John Cappelmann

Last night’s meeting of the Ninth Precinct Community Council featured several interesting details regarding recent crime in the neighborhood. Here’s a roundup, and check back later for more detailed posts about other recent arrests.

Capt. John Cappelmann, the new commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct, reported that four new officers started patrolling the neighborhood on Monday, as he promised in January. Four to six more officers should start in the next couple of weeks, some of whom will focus on quality of life issues. “It’s a tremendous boost for us in personnel numbers,” Capt. Cappelmann said.

Meanwhile, a crew of eight officers and one sergeant have recently been working the quality of life beat on Fridays and Saturday in the neighborhood. Capt. Cappelmann said they’re averaging 30 to 40 “contacts” a night, many of which result in summons. “It’s definitely helping,” Capt. Cappelmann said. “There’s a tremendous amount of crime from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m — the simple fact that there are so many more people in the neighborhood leads to more crime.”

The neighborhood’s top cop also noted that a recent uptick in burglaries has been brought under control. In the previous 28-day period there were only five burglaries; the average for that length of time is around 16. “Five ‘burgs’ for the 28-day is great. Still, for me it’s too much, but it’ll do,” Capt. Cappelmann said.

However, it’s not all good news: Capt. Cappelmann noted that there has been an increase in iPad and iPod snatchings in the western portion of the Ninth, particularly around midnight. (The precinct is bound by Houston Street, Broadway, 14th Street and and the East River.)

Readers of our regular crime report, Police & Thieves, may have noted several recent incidents in the Second Avenue subway station. The Ninth noted them as well, and earlier this month conducted an operation in collaboration with transit police that netted several arrests, according to Capt. Cappelmann. Since then, there haven’t been any incidents similar to the previous crimes, which involved young women having their cellphones snatched out of their hands.

Readers of Police & Thieves likely also noted the astounding amount of unattended property that is stolen in the neighborhood on a regular basis. Capt. Cappelmann gave some hard data to back that up: 60 percent of the crime in the Ninth Precinct is grand larcenies; more than half of that crime is due to property left unattended.

Lastly, the captain shared a few interesting details regarding the jewelry heist on Bowery that culminated in the arrest of three men in NoHo. One of the suspects was arrested after running into a dojo (could he have fled into a worse place?) and the other was arrested by officers from the Ninth on top of a roof overlooking Broadway. “The officers were in a dangerous position when they arrested him,” Capt. Cappelmann said.