Map: B38 Theft Trend Continues Into Summer Months


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The recent rise in thefts on the B38 bus that travels through the heart of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill has led to an increased police presence along the route and arrests in two of the latest crimes.

Brothers Bernard and Gary Council were arrested for thefts that occurred on the B38 bus on July 1 and 2, according to police. On July 1, Bernard Council, 47, allegedly took a 39-year-old woman’s wallet from her handbag as she was traveling eastbound at about 5 p.m. Police said that Gary Council, 46, later used the cards from her wallet at MetroCard machines and gas stations. On July 2, the brothers allegedly stole a 42-year-old woman’s credit card from her pocketbook as she rode the bus on Lafayette Avenue at Grand Avenue at about 5:15 p.m and later purchased MetroCards with the stolen credit card.

Bernard and Gary Council were charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth and fifth degrees, jostling and petit larceny, according to the Kings County District Attorney’s office.

Police have not announced arrests in connection with the other thirteen thefts that have occurred on the B38 this year in the 88th Precinct. The majority of the victims were women who were pick-pocketed during the evening rush hour commute between 5 to 8 p.m., according to police. The most common items stolen include wallets, MetroCards, smartphones and credit cards.

In May the Nabe reported that Deputy Inspector Scott Henderson said extra officers were being stationed along the bus route on Lafayette and DeKalb Avenues, in addition to plainclothes officers riding the bus.

They also released a pamphlet with a list of safety tips for passengers:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially when you’re in a crowded space.
  • Hold your personal belongings tightly.
  • Bring only items that you need when you go out. There’s no reason to bring extra cash or charge cards unless you intend to use them.
  • Don’t display your electronic devices on the bus – and definitely don’t play games or use other programs on your devices that will distract you from your surroundings. Tuck your devices away and don’t keep them in outer pockets.
  • Even during the daytime, it’s best to travel with company, because there is greater safety in numbers.
  • Don’t leave any of your belongings unattended on the bus.

The 88th precinct was unavailable for comment regarding the most recent thefts and arrests.

The NYPD also manages the Operation Identification program, in which city residents can register the serial number of electronic devices or have an exclusive serial number engraved on the devices for free. The identifying marks make it harder for thieves to sell and easier for owners to recover their electronics.

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