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Queens Chronicle

Negatives are positive in the 104th Precinct

Major crime stats staying lower

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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 11:50 am, Thu Dec 27, 2012.

The executive officer of the 104th Precinct had encouraging news for the community on Dec. 13 at the monthly meeting of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol.

Major crime for the 28-day period ending Dec. 9 was down 12.5 percent over the same period a year ago. Total major crimes for the year were down 2.37 percent.

“We’re hoping to end the year in negative territory,” said Capt. John Travaglia.

Auto theft stats are leading the downward charge, with 195 in the precinct through Dec. 9, as opposed to 236 in 2011, a 17.4 percent decrease.

Grand larceny, which includes credit card fraud and identity theft, also are down.

Robberies for the year stood at 265, an increase of nine, or 7.7 percent, over 2011. Rapes are up one from 14 to 15. Travaglia said among the rapes, several were domestic in nature, as opposed to a random attack.

Travaglia also introduced officers Ralph Szpak and William Arata, crediting them with an increased statistic that he was pleased to have.

“We have had a 22 percent increase in DUI arrests this year — mostly because of these officers,” he said. Their efficiency also led to a strange request from an arrest suspect.

“Guys who offer to help us usually want something in return,” Travaglia said. “This one guy said he wanted immunity from Officer Szpak. We couldn’t do it. The baloney sandwich would have been easier.”

Travaglia also commented on the officer-involved shooting on Dec. 15 when two undercover narcotics officers shot and killed a career criminal who pulled what turned out to be a BB gun on them while they were arresting an accused drug dealer.

“That started out in Brooklyn,” he said.

Frank Kotnik, president of G-COP, said the fact that the shooting stunned the Ridegwood community is a tribute to the NYPD.

“Twenty, 25 years ago, you weren’t shocked by gunfire,” he said. “You would have a body being found near the railroad tracks, lying on Myrtle Avenue or in Forest Park.”

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