One Lenox Hill resident told their Neighborhood Coordination Officers that the city needs to elect a new mayor similar to Rudy Giuliani because his law-and-order record would put a stop to rising crime incidents in the neighborhood.
The resident said that he and his wife left Manhattan back in the 1970s to escape what they said was a rising crime wave. As crime has consistently trended downward in New York City since then, they moved back, but now they feel that they may have to leave again.
“We can’t believe that the city is going downhill as fast as it is. We need another Rudy to bring the city back. Until the election, we’re stuck with Comrade Mayor,” said the resident.
Lenox Hill residents gathered for the first in-person “Sector A Build the Block Safety” meeting since the pandemic hit with their NCOs from the 19th Precinct at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer on Tuesday evening. Sector A runs from East 59th Street to East 68th Street.
Five residents attended, and they were offered facial masks by the attending officers, NCO Supervisor, Sergeant Stephen Feasel and Police Officer Bryan White.
Both officers indicated that there certainly has been an increase in property crime.
The 19th Precinct issued a crime update on August 3 on its Twitter feed that the entire district is experiencing a significant uptick in robberies (27) in the last 28-days, which is a 286 percent increase compared to 2019. Five of those robberies were at gunpoint.
One of the most popular items stolen is smartphones. Sergeant Feasel said that most of the thefts occur when people are walking along the sidewalk near the curb or crossing the street, they are looking and typing on their phone and a bicyclist speeds by and swipes it.
Another occurrence is auto theft. Someone drives up to park so that they can go get a cup of coffee, but they leave their keys in the ignition. When they return, their car has been stolen.
And, with packaged and food deliveries on the rise since the onset of the pandemic, there has been an alarming increase of theft of those deliveries in apartment buildings. The officers stressed that nobody should allow entry of someone they don’t recognize into a building, even if the person says they are there to see a family member or friend.
Another resident wondered whether the rise in thefts and robberies is happening at an accelerated rate is attributable to the bail reform that New York enacted in January. New York joins California and New Jersey whereby criminal courts in the state are now prohibited from setting cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, which criminal justice advocates welcomed because they say that poor people don’t have to wait for trial while in jail.
But, Police Officer White, who has served his entire policing career in the 19th Precinct, said since the reform in January he’s arrested offenders for stealing property only to see that same offender in the latter part of the day commit another theft.
Sergeant Feasel stressed to the residents that when they witness a crime or a theft, they be as descriptive as possible because he explained that there have been occurrences where the victim is afraid to describe the person’s race because they don’t want to bash a particular ethnic group.
“When you are a victim of a crime, it doesn’t matter what nationality or race the perpetrator is; we need to know to help you solve the crime,” said Sergeant Feasel.