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Larceny Up, Robbery Down in Greenburgh

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Thieves are becoming less brazen but perhaps more opportunistic.

There were 46 more reported larcenies in Greenburgh in 2011, an 8 percent jump compared to 2010, Greenburgh Police Department statistics show.

Police say the slight uptick in larceny cases can be explained by an increase in car break-ins over the past year, most of which have happened in shopping center parking lots.

“These are crimes of opportunity. The larceny we are looking at here is because of people leaving things in the car like electronics or money,” said Greenburgh Police Spokesperson Lt. Brian Ryan. “It’s things that can be resold.”

The good news, police say, is there were just 10 robberies in 2011, a large drop from 26 in 2010. Robberies are often more dangerous, Police Chief Joseph DeCarlo said, as they involve stealing goods while the victim is present.

“Robberies can lead to homicides when people try to fight back or the situation escalates,” DeCarlo said.

Overall, incidents in the seven serious crime categories - homicide, rape robbery, felony assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft - as a whole, have seen a large decline in the past three years, Greenburgh PD statistics show.

Over 930 serious crimes were reported in 2009 compared to 768 in 2011. Police say extra burglary patrols added in 2011 along with aggressive street patrols has helped bring down not only burglaries, but crime overall.

“The police to citizen contacts as well as police omnipresence factor into the decline in some categories of crime, particularly street robberies,” Ryan wrote in an email.

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