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Thefts Up 100 Percent This Year at 76th Precinct, Police Say

By Nikhita Venugopal | March 6, 2013 10:55am | Updated on March 6, 2013 10:59am

COBBLE HILL — Robberies in the 76th Precinct have doubled over the first few months of 2013 when compared with the same period last year, the precinct commander said.

Through March 3, there have been 26 robberies this year as compared to 13 in 2012, said Capt. Jeffrey Schiff, at a precinct community council precinct meeting Tuesday.

“We’re definitely having trouble,” he said.

Fourteen of those robberies were concentrated in the area between Wyckoff Street and Union Street and Smith Street to the Gowanus Canal.

Schiff added that there appears to be a robbery pattern in this area where two to four men simulate a firearm or use force to accost food delivery men.

One arrest has been made so far in those cases.

There were a number of cell phone thefts as well, with 13 of them involving iPhones. The perpetrators were “using the 76th Precinct as an apple orchard and that they’re doing some apple picking,” said Schiff.

Only two arrests have been made in the mobile robberies, but Schiff noted, only 11 of the iPhones had a tracking function.

The precinct plans to make a major push towards educating people on the tracking feature that will assist officers in these cases.

“It does work,” he said.

The precinct has made 17 robbery arrests so far this year, Schiff said.

Schiff also recounted several noteworthy arrests in the 76th Precinct:

► Officers made a DWI arrest on a man who was driving down Hamilton Avenue into oncoming traffic, toward officers at the scene. The 34-year-old man had a blood alcohol level over .08. “He was stinking drunk,” said Schiff.

► On Feb. 4, officers nabbed a man for stealing his girlfriend’s cell phone. The man had three prior arrests. The precinct has appointed a new officer to deal with domestic cases in the area.

► Officers collared a 16-year-old male for simulating a knife and taking a cell phone from a 12-year-old on Feb. 20. The father of the victim was able to identify the thief.

► At Sackett and Hoyt streets, a 15-year-old male was arrested along with a 20-year-old man for a gunpoint robbery.

► Another 15-year-old male was arrested on March 1 at around 11.15 p.m., for simulating a firearm and trying to rob an intoxicated female. The robber had a BB gun that he tried to throw into a dumpster before he was arrested.

► Tyrone Chavez, 24, who has had a warrant against him since 2009, was arrested for an alleged robbery on Feb. 20.  Cops are still looking for his alleged accomplice, Gene Hayes, whom they identified as a member of the "Mad Dogs" gang.”