PARK SLOPE — The Brooklyn shopping center that was once considered a crime magnet has had a major drop in criminal activity, police said recently.
Crime at the Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues has plummeted by 25 percent since the fall of 2012, Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri announced at a 78th Precinct Community Council meeting this week.
The precinct keeps four officers permanently assigned to the sprawling retail complex, which is home to the busiest Target, Buffalo Wild Wings and Chuck E. Cheese in the country, Ameri said. The shopping center consists of two side-by-side buildings, Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center.
"The volume in there is tremendous, so… I have some issues, I have some crime, I have some after-school problems," Ameri said.
The officer team assigned to the mall made more than 200 arrests in 2013, Ameri said. All four were awarded the precinct's "cop of the month" honor at this week's community council meeting.
Typical crimes at the mall include wallets snatched from distracted shoppers, merchandise taken from stores, and other grand larcenies, according to 78th Precinct blotter.
The complex has been called a "crime magnet" and was labeled a "crime epicenter" in April 2012 after a spate of stolen purses and shoplifting. In September of that year, the 78th Precinct assumed control of the mall, as well as the neighboring Barclays Center.
Ameri proudly noted this week that even with the new territory, there was a 3.3 percent decrease in overall crime between 2012 and 2013 in the precinct. He added that the Barclays Center hosted about 300 events — including high-profile shows such as the MTV Video Music Awards — that brought more than 2 million people to the area.
"The fact that we were able to keep crime down with all the extra activity and people coming into the neighborhood is really an accomplishment," Ameri said.