Today’s news:

Crime rate rises in 113th Precinct

Last week the Police Department released statistics comparing incidents of the seven major crime categories in 2000 and 1999. The categories are murder, rape, robbery, felony assaults, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto.

Crime dipped by 5 percent in the 103rd Precinct, which covers downtown Jamaica, Hollis, and parts of St. Albans. Meanwhile, crime rose by 2.3 percent in the 113th Police Precinct, which covers South Jamaica, St. Albans, and parts of Springfield Gardens.

The most striking reduction in the 103rd Precinct was the 1.8 percent decline in auto theft to 582 incidents in 2000 from 593 in 1999, according to the released statistics. Halfway through 2000 auto theft had risen in the precinct by 22 percent.

"Anytime we see a spike in a category we kind of fix in on that," said Deputy Inspector Robert Thursland, the commander of the 103rd Police Precinct. "Obviously, it's been pretty successful."

Thursland would not disclose exactly what strategies police were using to curb auto theft.

More than 300 of the 582 reported auto thefts had occurred by the start of July 2000.

Murder fell by 26 percent to 14 in 2000 as compared to 19 in 1999. Rape also declined by 15 percent with 40 reported occurrences last year vs. 47 in 1999.

The number of robberies dropped substantially with 621 reported in 2000 compared to 769 in 1999, a decrease of 19 percent.

Felony assaults rose sharply in 2000 to 495 in 2000 from the year-earlier level of 439, an increase of 13 percent.

Thursland said that in many of the cases of felony assault, the assailant and the victim knew each other.

"Shootings are way down," said Thursland, who took over command of the precinct three months ago.

Grand larceny decreased by slightly more than 1 percent to 657 in 2000 from 659 in the preceding year. Burglary fell by 7 percent with 549 reported in 2000 and 591 recorded in 1999.

In the 113th Precinct, four of the major crime categories - rape, felony assault, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto - rose.

The number of reported rapes climbed by 18 percent with 59 in 2000 and 50 in 1999, according to the statistics. Felony assaults increased by 5 percent to 562 in 2000 from 439 in 1999.

Statistics also showed that grand larceny auto rose by 10 percent with 1,136 in 2000 as compared to 1,030 in 1999. Grand larceny auto also rose by 13 percent to 755 in 2000 from 670 in 1999.

Murder fell by 20 percent, with 12 reported in 2000 and 15 in 1999, statistics showed. Burglary fell by 7 percent to 569 in 2000 from 619 in the prior year, police said.

Deputy Inspector William Morris, the commander of the 113th Precinct, could not be reached for comment.

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