Neighbors should be aware of a recent string of robberies that have taken place in the area of Prospect Heights east of Vanderbilt Avenue and south of Park Place. In each case, one or two men, sometimes armed, have confronted individuals on the street during evening hours and demanded money and valuables.
The 77th Precinct has acknowledged a pattern, and has responded by deploying additional sergeants and officers on foot in the affected area. However, residents should exercise caution when walking outside at night.
- Don’t listen to music or wear headphones.
- Don’t text or talk on your phone.
- Don’t pull out your phone after emerging from the subway to check messages. Perpetrators may be watching.
- Don’t display jewelry.
- Have your front door keys ready before you reach your home. Make sure no one is behind you when you open your door.
In general, be aware of your surroundings when walking on the street at night. When leaving the subway, look to be sure no one is following you. If you believe you are being followed, head for the nearest open business and call 911.
If you are the unfortunate victim of a crime:
- Get a good description of the perpetrator. Remember height, clothes, skin, hair and eyes.
- Call 911 as soon as possible. Give the 911 operator a full description of the perpetrator, including the direction in which he left the scene.
- Wait for officers to arrive. In the case of a report of a violent crime, officers will usually arrive quickly.
- Give the officers a full report of the crime. The officers may ask that you accompany them in a patrol car to look for the perpetrator(s). This is recommended, as the chances of catching those involved is much better when only a short amount of time has passed since the crime.
- In any event, take the names of the officers responding, and call the 77th Precinct (718.735.0611) the next day to get the number of your police report if the officers are not able to provide you with the number at the scene.
But most of all, report all incidents of crime to the police by calling 911. Do not assume the police will be informed of crime through blog postings or emails among neighbors. If you do post information about a crime you’ve experienced, include the police report number, as this is the only way to link your report to crime statistics maintained by the NYPD.
Be alert, safe and enjoy the holidays!