Crime is down (Times), But it's bloody in Staten Island (News)

There are dramatically dueling macro and micro takes on the state of crime in the city this morning.

The big picture, of course, comes from the Times which reports that, despite growing local poverty and economic woes, crime stats are still trending lower. "Murder, considered the bellwether crime, is down by nearly 13 percent so far this year, to 413 through Nov. 22, compared with 473 in the same period last year," writes the Times' Al Baker. "Rape, robbery, burglary, grand larceny and car theft are also on the decline."

The close-up look is in the pages of the Daily News which reports that bodies are piling up in the streets of Staten Island where a deadly gang war has claimed four young lives in the past month.

"The victims - all affiliated with the notorious Bloods - were shot as tensions mount between gang members from New Brighton and others from Port Richmond and Mariners Harbor," write The News' Wil Cruz and Rocco Parascandola.

The tick-tock on the body count started after a fight over a girl at a party produced the first bullet-riddled corpse. A week later an alleged driver involved in that hit was shot to death. On November 16, an ex-con who had just served four years for drug crimes, was gunned down while seated in a white Lexus. Two days later, an 18-year-old believed by cops to have been part of that ambush team was plugged in South Beach.

Staten Island D.A. Dan Donovan told the News that he's on the case and asked those with information on the crimes to step forward. "The violence must and will stop," he says.

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