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Auto thefts drop in 109th Precinct

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The number of reported auto thefts in the 109th Precinct declined sharply during the first half of the year, falling by more than 25 percent, compared with the same period last year, the police said.

Overall, the crime rate in the 109th Precinct went down slightly during the first six months of the year compared with the same period last year, the police said, dropping to 1,784 from 1,828. But the statistics for the precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone College Point and Bay Terrace, show rises in the number of rapes, felony assaults and grand larcenies reported during the period of Jan. 1 to June 24.

The statistics also showed that the number of robberies reported between Jan. 1 and June 24 decreased to 174 from 212, and that auto thefts dropped to 480 from 650. The decrease in the number of auto thefts during the first six months of the year mirrored a dramatic decline in such crime since 1993, when there were more than 4,153 cases of vehicle theft in the 109th Precinct, the statistics showed.

Compared with 1993, the police said the number of auto thefts in the 109th Precinct has fallen by more than half, dropping to 1,259 incidents.

At the same time, the number of reported rapes increased to 10 from four, a change owing to a rash of sexual assaults and robberies on Asian-American women in Flushing between February and June. In three cases, the women were raped, then robbed, the police said. A Flushing man has been charged in nine attacks, eight of them in Flushing, authorities said.

The statistics, released each week by the Police Department, are broken down into seven categories: murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of automobiles. Apart from the increase in the number of rapes, the number of felony assaults reported for the first half of this year rose to 152 from 142, the number of burglaries increased to 459 from 378 and the number of grand larcenies increased to 507 from 433.

On the other hand, the number of murders reported during the first six months of this year fell to two from nine, compared with the same period last year, the police said. The rise in the number of homicides last year was due in part to the massacre at a Wendy’s restaurant in Flushing that left five workers dead and two others wounded.

One of the two men arrested in the murders and robbery, Craig Godineaux, was sentenced to five consecutive terms of life in prison after pleading guilty in February. The other man, John Taylor, is awaiting trial and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Reach reporter Chris Fuchs by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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