Over the past week, New York City police have been plenty busy helping those in the five boroughs deal with the aftermath of devastating floods, major wind damage and widespread power outages.
But they might be able to thank Superstorm Sandy for one thing: a drop in crime.
Comparing the most recent seven-day stretch with the same period last year, the New York Police Department on Monday reported a 27 percent decrease in crime since the storm hit. In raw numbers, that translates to 1,509 alleged crimes compared to 2,164 in November 2011.
This is despite 123 storm-related arrests documented by the department, including 54 for alleged burglaries and 41 related to issues involving frustrated drivers as they waited (sometimes for hours) for gas.
There were double-digit drops in several crime categories, led by an 86 percent drop in alleged murders. (Of course, Sandy was lethal -- causing 40 deaths in the city alone.)
Detentions tied to grand larceny were lower by 47 percent (20 percent for automobiles), rape-related cases fell by 41 percent, alleged robberies were down 21 percent, and there were 19 percent fewer felonious assault cases.
The only major class of crimes in which there were more cases were burglaries, and even then it was just a 6 percent jump.