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Queens Chronicle

Queens crime stats a mixed bag in 2014

Overall crime down 2%; shootings jump across both borough and city

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Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 12:36 pm, Thu Jun 12, 2014.

A number of high-profile crimes in Brooklyn have been grabbing headlines in the last week or so.

This past Sunday a man stabbed and killed a 6-year-old boy in an elevator in East New York, and seriously wounded a 7-year-old girl in the process.

The same man now is considered a strong suspect in the stabbing death of an 18-year-old Long Island University co-ed in the same neighborhood two days earlier.

Shootings in Brooklyn, many of which law enforcement sources are attributing to gang activity, are up 20 percent through May 25 in Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, including a staggering 56 percent — 36 versus 23 this time last year — in the 73rd Precinct.

But five months into 2014, the picture appears brighter in Queens, and the city as a whole.

According to CompStat numbers available on the NYPD’s official website, major crime in the city is down 2.64 percent through May 25.

Murder is down by 13.1 percent citywide, with 106 as opposed to 122 last year. The NYPD also has seen a 13.8 percent drop in rapes and 10.4 percent fewer robberies.

Even with the drop in crime overall, shootings in the Big Apple (9.8 percent)`and shooting victims (10.1) have steeply increased.

Using NYPD statistics for numbered precincts in the borough — from the 100th in the Rockaways to the 115th in Jackson Heights — Queens’ numbers don’t show any pattern when compared to the NYPD as a whole.

There has been a decrease in major crimes of more than 2 percent borough-wide, with murders level at 25, and rapes down 14 percent, from 134 to 115. Robberies in Queens have plummeted more than 15 percent.

The number of shooting victims has increased at a lower rate than the city average, rising from 59 to 62, or barely over 5 percent.

Year-to-date, eight of Queens’ 16 precincts have lower overall major crime rates, including the 105th (-23.4 percent); 107th (-18.16); 112th (-17.78); 103rd (-13.99); 100th (-10.26); 110th (-6.69); 106th (-0.660; and 113th (-0.14).

Precincts with increases thus far include the 114th (13.39 percent); 102nd (13.15); 115th (13.06); 101st (8.96); 111th (6.08); 108th (1.50); 104th (1.40); and the 109th (0.12).

Five precincts have had no murders this year, including the 107th, 108th, 109th, 111th and 112th. The 108th, 111th and 112th also had no murders last year.

The 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill, which had five murders this time last year, had one as of Wednesday.

The 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, with one murder a year ago, has had six this year, though the total includes the brutal triple homicide in January of 21-year-old Deisy Garcia and her daughters Daniela, 2, and Yoselin, 1.

Garcia’s husband, Miguel Mejia-Ramos, was the subject of a national manhunt.

He was arrested just over a day later in Texas by U.S. Marshals after his vehicle was spotted on Interstate 10 by a Texas state trooper.

Police believe he was on his way to his native Mexico. He waived extradition and is awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges.

What might fairly or unfairly be considered to skew the 113th Precinct’s statistics is that the command is responsible for tallying crimes reported at John F. Kennedy International Airport, though it is patrolled regularly by the Port Authority Police Department.

The Chronicle was unable to contact a number of precinct community council members for comment.

But Heidi Chain, chairwoman of the council in the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills, said she is pleased with those in her area.

The 112th Precinct has recorded a number of record lows in recent years.

“A few years ago we had some problems with burglaries, and then there was the theft of iPhones,” Chain said. “Those seem to have calmed down, knock wood.”

The two other categories where the city is seeing increases are felony assault, up 2.7 percent this year, and auto theft, up 8 percent.

Queens has seen in increase in auto theft from 861 this time last year to 903. The rate is up 26.2 percent on Patrol Borough South, and 17.7 percent in South.

Felony assaults are actually down by 3.2 percent in Queens North, while South has seen an increase of 3.7 percent.

Chain declined to comment on citywide statistics or those from other precincts.

NYPD numbers show that transit crimes are down 8.7 percent in the city as a whole.

Transit crimes in Patrol Borough Queens South remained steady at 50, while in Patrol Borough Queens North they have dropped 2.8 percent, from 108 to 105.

Whether or not it is attributable to court orders on the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies and so-called “vertical patrols” in city-run high-rise apartment buildings, crime levels in the city’s housing projects were radically higher than New York City averages in several major categories.

With the city crime rate down 2.64 percent, it is up by 1 percent at Housing Authority properties.

Murders are up from 17 to 19, or 12 percent and rapes up 7 percent.

Robberies and grand larcenies are down 3 and 11 percent, respectively, but shooting incidents are up 37 percent over 2013, from 60 to 82.

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