With the increase in robberies in Prospect Park this year, it is important to know how to prevent yourself from being a victim of a crime.
The Commanding Officer of the 78th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri said that most of the robberies are “iThefts,” meaning the muggings are targeted towards people with iPhones, iPads or iPods.
It is a good idea to keep them hidden and do not use them while in the park.
Deputy Inspector Ameri said that although arrests have been up in the park 10 percent as compared to last year, people are still getting robbed.
“To stay safe while in the park, it is good to practice typical crime prevention techniques,” Ameri said in his office at the 78th Precinct.
Ameri also said that most of the robberies—there have been 17 this year so far compared to only seven last year—occur on the outskirts of the park. He explained that crooks like a quick getaway, so they tend to make hits on the park’s perimeter and outer pathways near the entrances, so it’s a good idea to keep on the 3.5-mile loop, which is always well-lit.
See below for a few simple and easy ways to help you avoid being a victim while in the park:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- If you are going to use your cell phone, use it smartly: Make sure you don’t bury your head and use a Bluetooth
- Most of these robberies happen after the sun goes down, so stay in the well-lit areas
- Bring a friend, try to avoid the park if you are alone
- If you are a victim of a crime try to call the police right away. If your cell was stolen, use the call boxes throughout the park or go home and call 9-1-1