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Too young to rob - Cops blame kids for crime spike

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Bensonhurst is seeing a spike in robberies and cops say kids are to blame.

According to the latest NYPD CompStat statistics, the number of robberies in the 62nd Precinct has surged 55 percent in the past month compared to the same period last year.

Police say most of these crimes are being committed by bully teenagers who are preying on other youngsters.

The young offenders are stealing pricey high-tech cell phones such as Sidekicks and iPhones.

“These kids are walking in droves, cutting out of school, snatching phones and throwing people to the ground,” reported Captain James Grant, the executive officer of the 62nd Precinct.

The captain addressed the issue at the May 20 meeting of the 62nd Precinct Community Council, held at the 1925 Bath Avenue stationhouse.

Grant was standing in for the precinct’s commander, Captain John Sprague, who was absent because of training commitments.

“We’re making a lot of arrests, but unfortunately we haven’t combated the problem one hundred percent,” Grant said.

The executive officer said these types of juvenile robberies were a citywide trend.

Grant outlined various initiatives the precinct is employing to try to reign in the problem.

“We started our own program here to track juvenile offenders, whether they live in our command or they go to school in our command,” Grant said.

He said the precinct has started a “little book” where they log information about juvenile offenders.

Police are also making it a priority to follow up with the juvenile offender’s parents one month after the initial arrest.

Cops are also reaching out to school principals and guidance counselors to keep track of young offenders.

“Hopefully we can get the matter under control,” Grant said.

An audience member asked the captain if repeat offenders were causing the crime trend.

The captain said there may be some instances of repeat offenders but that the majority of cases were “random kids.”

Grant said despite the upward swing in robberies, the overall crime levels in the 62nd Precinct continue to plummet.

“We’ve had a tremendous decrease in just about every other crime,” he said.

According to CompStat, in the past month crime has dropped by 27 percent.

Year to date figures are down about thirteen percent, with decreases being reported in car theft, assault, burglary and grand larceny.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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