With bodies still sadly turning up in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers can at least comfort themselves with the latest crime stats out of the NYPD: Overall crime was down 31 percent from the year before in the week after Sandy with the only major crime that saw an uptick being burglary, up three percent—hence the people in Sheepshead Bay sleeping with knives. Still, reported murders declined by 86 percent.

According to the police, from Monday October 29 through Friday, November 2 there was an 86 percent decline in murder, a 48 percent decline in larceny, a 44 percent decline in rape, a 31 percent decline in assault, a 30 percent decline in robbery and a 24 percent decline in grand larceny auto. There were only 15 shooting victims over that period, down from 22 the year before.

But just because crime is lower doesn't mean it has stopped. Since the surges we've been hearing hard to track-down reports of robbers wearing official-looking ConEd or Red Cross gear and going door to door. Today the NYPD confirms those rumors with this report:

In the Midland Beach section of Staten Island early [Saturday] morning, officers observed an individual attired in a Red Cross jacket checking the front doors of unoccupied houses. He was arrested for burglary. The officers, normally assigned to narcotics enforcement, were in uniform on extended tours as part of a special crime suppression effort in the storm effected neighborhoods


So please, be careful out there!

Overall the NYPD says there were 1,061 crimes committed over the week, compared to 1,541 last year. Of course, there were lots of other things going on and a decline in crime doesn't mean a decline in tragedy. As of last night the death toll for Hurricane Sandy reached 41 in the New York City area. The latest victim of the storm to be discovered was George Stathis, a 90-year-old Queens resident found between a couch and a wall in his basement. Polie presume he drowned.