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Village police report: Few serious crimes, but car thefts an issue

Floral Park police released a report on crime

Floral Park police released a report on crime in the village, seen on Jan. 18, 2017. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Statistics released this month from Floral Park’s police department show that violent crime has remained flat for the past six years and that burglaries and other property crimes are on the decline.

Police Commissioner Stephen McAllister presented 2017 crime data to the village board on Jan. 16. The numbers detail reported incidents dating to 2012, ranging from violent crimes — including rape, homicides and aggravated assault — to property crimes such as robbery, larceny and auto theft.

Regarding the latter, McAllister said incidents could be reduced if residents would simply lock their car doors.

“People feel safe here, so they’ll leave their [car] doors unlocked,” McAllister said. “Unfortunately, people will take advantage of you having your door unlocked.”

Between 2012 and 2017, Floral Park reported three cases of rape and no homicides. In 2017, the village reported five auto thefts, one aggravated assault, seven robberies and seven burglaries.

Mayor Dominick Longobardi said that the village board and McAllister have emphasized officer training in recent years and that the emphasis is starting to pay off. The data reflects why “Floral Park is consistently rated as one of the safest places to live in New York,” Longobardi said.

The report shows that the village had 29 larcenies in 2017, down from 42 in 2016.

Larcenies remain the only double-digit reported crime in the village, which McAllister said is due in part to thefts from residents’ vehicles. He noted that eight months ago, a man walked through one neighborhood stealing items from unlocked cars.

McAllister also said there are more larcenies in the village because of the police department’s “catchall category” for incidents, ranging from thefts at CVS to stolen cellphones.

“Let’s say you’re sitting on a park bench and you sit something down, and then you’re distracted and look away and someone takes your property,” McAllister said. “That counts as larceny.”

He added that reducing incidents in that crime category requires residents to consistently lock their vehicles. Marc Mullen, president of Floral Park’s West End Civic Association, agreed.

“We have a highly trained police force, but they can’t be on every corner at every hour,” Mullen said.

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