Deceptive grand larceny on the rise; Craigslist buyers beware

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Shoppers on Craigslist looking for a great deal beware!

That’s what Dep. Inspector Juanita Holmes, Commanding Officer at the 81st Precinct, warned residents at the precinct’s recent Community Council meeting.
“The [Craigslist] ads sometimes dupes (buyers) into thinking they are renting an apartment or buying goods, but once the unsuspecting victim gets to the location, they are robbed of their money and the victim is left without an apartment or items because the seller was a fraud,” said Holmes.

Holmes said the Craigslist scam brings to light a new crime trend known as “grand larceny deception”. These are crimes associated with scammers and criminals staging or setting up victims to bring large sums of money with them, she said.

Holmes made the point amid the good news that felony crime in the precinct area is down over 10 percent for the year.
This includes violent crime as the precinct has had one reported murder as compared to four at this time in 2010. Shootings are down 14 percent for the year.
Reported robberies have plummeted 22 percent with just 40 incidents thus far in 2011 as compared to 51 at this time last year.
While auto theft is up slightly, Holmes said this is partly due to people leaving their unoccupied cars running, and she warned residents to be aware of opportunistic crooks.
Residents complained about the area near the J, M and G subway stops around Myrtle Avenue and Broadway, as well as the Fulton Street and Utica Avenue area.
Holmes said the area around Fulton/ Utica is well-policed, particularly when Boys & Girls High School lets out.

The precinct will focus on putting more resources around the Myrtle Avenue and Broadway station, she said.