In a pre-holiday press briefing with Captain Christopher Manson and Community Affairs Officer Tommy Bell of the 104th Precinct, they offered a few pieces of timely advice for shoppers and commuters as the weather worsens and the hustle kicks off in earnest.
“With the approaching holidays,” said Manson, a trend that tends to increase is, “pedestrians struck by cars; particularly in the shopping areas. It's just that typical gridlock mayhem,” he added. “Pedestrians crossing, either with or without the signal, typically the number one way pedestrians get struck is people making a left-hand turn.”
He urged drivers to slow down, and for everyone to stop being in such a rush.
“You're going to kill somebody,” Manson pointedly noted. “Pedestrians, it's just as much on them. Just because you have the right-of-way doesn't mean that car sees you.”
In the cold weather to come, though it may be tempting to leave a car running to keep it warm rather than lock it for safety, Manson said that people who leave cars running, “might as well put a big 'please steal me' sign on the front windshield.”
“I've seen a number of these cars get stolen this way,” he added.
Phone and device snatches also tend to rise around the holidays, and according to Manson, Apple and Samsung devices are the most popular grabs.
The best way to help police locate stolen devices is to write down the IMEI and serial number of your phone and get them to the case officers as quickly as possible, he said.
“God forbid they lose them or they're the victim of a crime,” Manson said. “We immediately want to get those numbers from them, because we need them to track the cell phone.”
According to Manson, the things that always seem to tick up on the holidays are snatches, robberies and car breaks.
“They all go up around the holiday season,” Manson explained. “[Perps] know that there are presents in cars, they know that people are walking around with more money in their pockets. We would win the war on crime if people paid attention to what they were doing.”