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Crime Concerns Take Over Uptown NCO Meeting

On Tuesday, September 13, uptown neighbors came out to the Beach 126th boardwalk for a Build the Block meeting with the NYPD Sector C Neighborhood Coordination Officers of the 100th Precinct, to express concerns.

After a busy summer, Detective Martini and Officer Mercado let the group know that a big problem right now is theft of cars and bicycles. They reminded people to not leave valuables in their cars or leave cars or bikes unlocked.

Several neighbors expressed concerns over an incident last weekend in which a group of youths, allegedly from St. John’s Home, were attempting to steal property from people’s cars and homes on Beach 121st Street. Police were called Friday night, but no arrests were made. In what was believed to be retaliation, the next night, the group returned with more people and harassed neighbors on the block, allegedly threatening to beat a mother up, and breaking things on her property. The neighbors were not satisfied with how the situation was handled by the Sergeant who responded. The NCOs explained that St. John’s residents have a curfew, and a mobile response team from St. John’s must be the ones to pick up the residents breaking curfew.

Some other concerns that were brought up were motorized vehicles on the boardwalk. The NCOs said they’re not able to chase after these vehicles once on the boardwalk, as it can create a deadly situation. Another issue brought up, which comes up often, was panhandling on Beach 116th Street. The NCOS explained that due to low manpower in the precinct, they no longer have the foot patrol that was assigned to the block over the last two summers.

Many in the crowd spoke of how cops “have their hands tied” and are limited in how they can respond now. Bail reform was also brought up as a reason for an uptick in crime. As a solution, neighbors suggested being mindful of leaders they vote for. In the meantime, it was suggested that neighbors not only report all crimes by calling 911, but let current elected officials know as well, to put more pressure on.

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