Robberies, burglaries up in Downtown precinct

Burglaries in the First Precinct have increased so far this year compared to last year but the upturn has been in office break-ins rather than residential, according to Capt. Anthony Bologna, commanding officer of the Lower Manhattan precinct.

“We had a high rate of storefront break-ins in the spring but we’re seeing a downturn now,” Bologna said in a telephone interview. Total burglaries are still slightly higher than last year but the gap is closing, he said.

During the week ending Oct. 9 this year, there were eight burglaries compared to six during the same week last year. One burglary was at a construction site on Varick St. and another was at an office at 1 Chase Plaza where an employee who shouldn’t have been there was arrested, Bologna said.

The precinct’s boundaries extend from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge east of Broadway and from the Battery to W. Houston St. west of Broadway.

Robberies were also up, six were reported for the week ending Oct. 9 this year compared to three the same week in 2004. For the year ending Oct. 9, there were 127 robberies compared to 113 last year. “A lot of them were kids stealing cell phones from other kids, especially since school opened,” Bologna said.

Nevertheless, the total number of felony crimes is down slightly so far this year. For the nine-month period ending Sept. 25 this year, a total of 1,689 crimes were reported compared to 1,701 for the same period last year.

—Albert Amateau

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