STATEN ISLAND, NY – As the number of car thefts, burglaries and robberies continues to rise on Staten Island, the number of murders has decreased compared to the year-end number from 2021.
Here’s a look at what crimes are happening in 2023, on Staten Island and across New York City.
LEAVING THE CAR
The number of car thefts continues to rise this year in the region. At one point in November, seven cars were stolen in a 24-hour period – with four thefts taking place on one Westerleigh street, according to police.
About 477 cars have been stolen so far this year, compared to 256 at the same time last year – an increase of 86.3%.
Some grand larceny auto’s (GLAs) on Staten Island begin as the theft of items from inside the vehicle. Once the key fob is found, the criminals take the joy home, law enforcement said.
Law enforcement officials on Staten Island continue to remind residents to take their keys inside after leaving their vehicles locked. About 85 percent of the 60 cars stolen in one month had the keys in them, the source explained.
The island has become a hot spot for carjacking operators – some of whom operate out of New Jersey.
Operators operating out of the Newark area, possibly operating under an unknown organized network, are transporting high-end, stolen cars to New Jersey, then disposing of them or collecting cash payments as the cars are shipped overseas for profit.
In Todt Hill, police have responded to a series of luxury vehicle thefts, burglaries and car thefts over the past three years.
In August, Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/South Brooklyn) wrote a letter to the state’s attorneys urging them to create a task force to solve car theft crimes in New York City.
“It’s a crime of opportunity and easily preventable,” Capt. Eric Waldhelm, commander of the 121st Precinct, spoke earlier. “We have a crew that goes around looking for quality cars.”
Crew members know that if the side windows are not folded in, the car is unlocked and, often, the key is still in the car, he said. In some cases, cars were even left running, police said.
So far this year, police have responded to 305 incidents compared to 224 from 2021, an increase of 40.6 percent, according to NYPD data.
The 120th Precinct, which covers a large area of Staten Island’s North Shore from West Brighton to Rosebank, has so far seen more than double the number of incidents compared to last year. Police responded to 112 robberies in 2022, while in 2022 56 incidents were reported, according to the NYPD’s CompStat data.
From 2016 to 2020, in the 120th Precinct, the department reported 164, 154, 152, 91 and 105 incidents.
There were 85 and 77 burglaries reported in the 121st and 122nd places, respectively.
According to the same data from the 121st Precinct, there were 137, 112, 95, 94 and 91 robberies. From 2016 to 2020, in the 122nd Precinct, the department reported 141, 103, 89, 64 and 92 incidents.
The 123rd Precinct, which covers the city’s South Shore, has seen seven incidents, compared to just one last year.
So far this year, there have been 269 reported robberies on Staten Island, compared to 196 last year, an increase of 37.2 percent.
Earlier this year, one community — Port Richmond — saw six robberies in eight weeks.
Last month, a man threatened the life of a female employee during a violent robbery at the CVS on Forest Avenue in West Brighton, according to reports.
“Don’t talk or I’ll kill you,” the suspect allegedly said to an employee as he fled the store, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
There were 10 incidents, compared to 13 this time last year, a decrease of 23.1.
Earlier this month, a 44-year-old man was arrested and charged in the fatal stabbing of Eugene Reba, 72, of Graniteville.
According to information in the criminal complaint, Seneca Morciglio is accused of killing Reba four days before the officer’s body was found on November 14 inside his home at 1290 Richmond Ave in Graniteville.