For the first half of 2011, crime was down across the United States. Murder was down about 5.7 percent, robbery was down about 7.7 percent, rape was down 5.1 percent and aggravated assault was down about 5.9 percent, according to the FBI. This is certainly good news. However, in New York City, there was a slight increase in crime. The number of major felonies rose to 6.88 per day in 2011, according to police reports. This is an increase from 5.85 in 2010.
In the first six months of the year, the FBI reported there were 23,822 violent crimes reported throughout the five boroughs. Last year at the same time, there were 23,152 violent crimes reported. There was also a dramatic increase in reported rape. FBI statistics reported that 459 were reported in the first six months of 2010 while 548 were reported of 2011.
NYPD data shows that 1,395 grand larcenies occurred on the subways from January to November 2011. This represents a 23.9 percent increase from all 2010, which reported 1,126 grand larcenies.
However, with less than two weeks left, reports indicate that there were 490 homicdes in New York through Dec. 18 compared to 519 last year at the same time. Shootings also appear slightly up. Through Dec. 18, there have been 1,465 shootings in New York compared to 1,425 this time last year. Victims of the shooting incidents also rose from 1,720 to 1,769.
2011 also became the year of the pickpockter and cellphone thief. Across the five boroughs, New York saw an increase in electronic devices on the subways. NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox said that high priced electronic devices fueled the increase in crime, according to Metro.
In first ten months of 2011, there have been approximately 16,000 robberies throughout the five boroughs. Half of these thefts have involved the latest must-have technology according to a new study by the NYPD, reported the Daily News.
This makes electronics the single most stolen property type, surpassing even hard currency, says the report.
iPhones were apparently the most sought after item for robbers, which accounted for over 70 percent of all stolen cell phones on subways and city buses. Laptops, tablets and mp3 players were also some other popular items for pickpockets and thieves, which accounted for about half of the burglaries and 35 percent of grand larcenies.
The NYPD plans to conduct sting operations in order to curtail the thefts. They will have police officers pose as thieves looking to sell stolen electronics to bodegas and delis, reported the Daily News. The report also mentioned a public awareness campaign that hopes to remind straphangers to hold onto their belongings and protect their personal items, as previously reported by IBTimes.
It's a sound strategy designed to suppress larcenies on several fronts simultaneously, Commissioner Ray Kelly said of the report, according to the Daily News.
Of course, the carriers could brick stolen phones, making them useless and of no value on the black market--but the don't. That's been done in Australia for a decade.
Every crime in this city is particularly shocking to the victim. However, Crimes of New York chose six of the most memorable and shocking crimes to round the year in review.