NYPD Blames Crime Spike in 110th Precinct on 'Opportunist' Phone Thieves

By Katie Honan on November 14, 2013 9:14am 

 Cell phone robberies are the cause of a triple-digit spike in burglaries and grand larcenies in the 110th Precinct, cops said. 
Cell phone robberies are the cause of a triple-digit spike in burglaries and grand larcenies in the 110th Precinct, cops said. 
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ELMHURST — Burglaries and grand larcenies in Elmhurst and Corona spiked in October compared to last year, with a majority of the increases coming from cellphone thefts by "opportunists," police officials said.

There were 32 reported burglaries in October, up from the 15 that occurred during the same month the year before in the 110th precinct — a 113 percent increase, according to NYPD statistics.

Still, burglaries are down 14.3 percent overall as of Nov. 3, with 228 this year compared to 266 last year.

Grand larcenies, however, were up 9.6 percent year-to-year and a full 31 percent in October, with 76 incidents last month compared to 58 during October 2012.

Major crime overall was also up nearly 38 percent in October compared to 2012, although it was up only slightly — 2 percent — for the year, police said.

Capt. Ralph Forgione said at a community board meeting Tuesday that the increase in October was attributable mostly to iPhone thefts, which topped the list of stolen goods in 2012.

"Opportunist" thieves will sometimes grab distracted victims' phones from their hands right before they hop off subways, he said.

As a result, Community Affairs Officer Janine Rivera said residents should "continue to be aware of their surroundings."

She also said people should be cautious as the holiday season approaches.

"Crime does spike a little during the holidays, basically because more people are out shopping and doing holiday business," she said.

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