Brookline Chief of Police Daniel O’Leary told a crowded Devotion School cafeteria filled with concerned town residents that crime had gone up 1.8 percent from 2011 to 2012.
The North Brookline Neighborhood Association, which covers the areas of precincts 2, 8 and 9 in North Brookline sponsored this meeting with the Brookline Police Department. Selectman Nancy Daily was in attendance as well as Boston University Police Chief Tom Robbins.
Chief O’Leary said that from 2011, burglaries were down 20 percent, motor vehicle thefts and assaults were both down seven percent and that there were no murders in 2012. Reports of rape had gone up from one report in 2011 to three in 2012. But the crimes that were on the increase were robberies, up 17 percent and larcenies, up 10 percent.
Despite the recent street robberies, Brookline has experienced a four-year low. Crime in Brookline has gone down 57 percent since 1994.
But since September 1, 2012, there have been six street robberies:
1. 14 Hamilton Road: On September 23 at 2:50 a.m., two suspects robbed two victims. Suspects first approached victims and asked for time, then returned with guns visible and demanded their property. This case is active.
2. Egmont Street/St Paul Street: On September 25 at 5:08 p.m., three suspects approached three victims on way home from class. Suspects put a gun to one victim’s waist and took their property. Three suspects have been arrested.
3. 55 Thatcher Street: On October 5 at 5:05 p.m., three suspects approached a man. One suspect pulled out a gun and took his belongings. Three suspects have been arrested.
4. 25 Gibbs Street: On December 8 at 10:40 p.m., ,a suspect approached the victim in the foyer of apartment building. The victim went out to the street to try to get away and began screaming as he tried to take her purse. This case is active.
5. St Paul Street/Freeman Street: On January 19 at 12:11 a.m., two suspects stopped three victims outside their apartment building. One of the suspects pointed a gun at the victims, while the other took their property. Two suspects were arrested.
6. Brown Street/Pleasant Street: on January 29 at 8:31 p.m., two suspects while attacked a victim. The suspects took his belongings and stabbed him two times. Two suspects were arrested.
Of the 11 victims, seven were Brookline residents, six were male, and five were female. The target of the robberies was electronic hand held devices like iPods, iPhones and iPads. A handgun was brandished in four of the six robberies and a knife was used in one.
“In response to this, we have stepped up their patrols in marked and unmarked cars, collaborated with Boston Police, Boston University Police and other local law enforcement agencies. We have also made ourselves available via social media,” Chief O’Leary said.
The Police force is working on a way to alert the public when crime occurs in a nearby area. “A system like the B.U. alerts are a model,” an Egmont Street resident said. “I missed the robbery by three minutes on Egmont Street. I don’t think I would have been able to do anything about it, but I might have gotten a look at the guys.”
Getting the information out to the public was a major concern for the public.
“I just found out tonight that there was a robbery right next door to me,” a Gibbs Street resident said. “ “I think it’s really disturbing to know two months later that a robbery took place. We need to find a way for neighbors to get a phone call or an email that something like this has happened.”