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Queens Chronicle

Gun crimes falling in 103rd Precinct

Most major categories seeing a drop; robberies continue to climb

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:23 am, Thu May 23, 2013.

The new executive officer of the 103rd Precinct said crime statistics — particularly those involving guns — are headed in the right direction on Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the precinct’s Community Council.

“Year to date we have had five shootings; last year at this time the precinct had 16,” Capt. James Fey said. “In those incidents there have been six shooting victims. We had 19 in the same period last year.

“And in the last 17 weeks, there have been two shootings. That covers four months.”

Fey, who transferred last week from the neighboring 113th Precinct, said since April 30 the 103rd has seized eight illegal guns, including three in a two-day period last week.

The precinct has had one homicide this year, as opposed to three by this time in 2012.

Robberies in the precinct are up in 2013 in the seven-day, 28-day and year-to date numbers.

“That has been the thorn in our side,” Fey said, saying there have been 169 this year, compared to 140 for the same period in 2012.

Grand larcenies, auto thefts and felony assaults are down, while burglaries for the year saw no change, with 105.

He said a good deal of the downward trend has to do with people being more careful with things such as iPhones and other cell phones, particularly when doing things like getting off buses.

He said the precinct has been making an effort to both increase patrols near places it has been a problem and to increase awareness in the public to be more careful.

Fey added that the downward trend has continued even as the weather has gotten nicer, a time where more opportunists generally are out looking for victims.

“That’s encouraging,” he said.

In other business, Officer Angela Ellerby of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Office said the summer months mean more children are out on the streets and in parks and playgrounds. And she said parents must talk to their children about the danger of strangers.

“Children are naturally trusting,” she said. “They have to know to say ‘No!’, to scream, to shout. Kids are also smart. They can figure out any game console or Xbox. They can learn any new song in three seconds. You can talk to them about strangers.”

Officers from the 103rd also registered people’s cell phones after the meeting, taking numbers that make it easier to recover the phone if it is lost or stolen —and make an arrest if a phone reported stolen is recovered from a suspect, according to Officer Mary Lawrence, the crime prevention officer in he 103rd.

In regard to complaints about people using area parks after dark, Fey and Phil Sparacio, deputy chief of operations in Queens for the city’s Parks and Recreation, said they work together closely, especially given the number of park officers allotted to Queens.

“I am very dependent on the precinct,” he said.

Fey said he and Sparacio coordinated information and patrols in his last post in the 113th, and believes the 103rd does the same when responding to resident complaints.

Responding to a resident’s complaint, he also said he would look into increasing the use of an irrigation system at Rufus King Park.

An old friend, Capt. Miguel Iglesias, returned to the 103rd for the meeting. Iglesias, who was a lieutenant in the precinct, now is commanding officer of Patrol Service Area 9, which protects public housing projects in Queens, including the Baisley Park apartments and others.

He said the camera systems at public housing projects have contributed greatly to the police department’s mission.

“With cameras you can sometimes see [a suspect] walking right into his building,” he said.

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