Update 9:50 pm: The 76 Pct. provided Patch with updated information. In October there were 17 robberies and so far this month there have been 6.
Robberies are up more than 40 percent so far this year in the , in large part due to a rash of robberies committed in September and October.
"We've seen a significant rise," said Captain John J. Lewis in an interview at the precinct.
As of Nov. 21, so far this year there have been 94 robberies in the precinct, compared with 64 last year, according to CompStat numbers.
While more robberies than usual took place in the early fall, November's numbers are "back to normal, low numbers," Lewis said. The exact numbers weren't made available, but CompStat reports nine robberies in the precinct in the four weeks preceeding Nov. 21.
"At this point we seem to have it under control," he said.
Close to half of those commiting the crimes were 19 and younger, and a large percentage had limited or no criminal history.
"Well over 50 percent have never been arrested for robbery before," said Lewis, adding that there is normally a huge amount of recidivism in robberies.
Especially with young and new offenders, Lewis says the way to prevent more robberies is to increase police presence in the areas where crime is higher, and to issue summonses for quality of life infringements, such as public urination or consumption of alcohol.
with offenders and their families also helps, he said.
Lewis said the increase in robberies was unusual because generally when a statistical spike such as this occurs, the perpetrators are largely the same in each case.
"We made a lot of arrests of all people," he said. "Usually it's one or two groups that are going out. That wasn't the case here."
While this months numbers are down, Lewis said the goal is to get to zero.
"It's a lofty goal, but still our goal," he said.