Today’s news:

Overall crime down in 108th, 114th precincts

The 108th and 114th Police Precincts both experienced drops in overall crime in the first half of the year from comparable 2000 levels, although the 114th Precinct recorded significant jumps in rapes and felony assaults, police said.

The statistics, revealed in a weekly report issued by the Police Department, continue a nearly decade-long trend of crime reduction across the city.

The NYPD report breaks down crimes into the categories of murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of an auto, comparing current rates with those from last year, two years ago and eight years ago. The statistics include incidents that occurred between the first of the year and June 24.

The 108th Precinct covers Sunnyside as well as southern parts of Long Island City and Woodside. The rest of Long Island City and Woodside are covered by the 114th Precinct, which also includes Astoria and Jackson Heights. The general boundary between the two precincts is formed by Queensborough Plaza and Northern Boulevard.

Overall crime in the 108th Precinct dropped by 16.04 percent from the same time last year. Reported incidents fell in all categories except for murder and grand larceny, both of which showed small increases in the first half of 2001. Two murders occurred in the past six months, compared to only one in the same period last year, and instances of grand larceny rose by 13 percent, from 260 to 294. Grand larceny involves the theft of more than $1,500.

Rapes showed the largest drop in the 108th Precinct, falling almost to half last year’s level, from 13 down to seven. Felony assaults dropped by 28.4 percent, going from 102 to only 73.

The second largest drop for the 108th Precinct was registered in burglaries — or thefts from a premise — which fell by 31.6 percent, from 401 in the first six months of last year to 294 thus far this year. Robbery, or theft from a person, declined by 26.3 percent from 190 in the same period last year to only 140 robberies occurring compared.

Auto thefts went from 373 to 335, a decline of 10.1 percent.

The 114th Precinct posted less significant drops, with overall crime falling only by 7.30 percent and increases occurring in the categories of rape, felony assault, and grand larceny.

Fifteen rapes occurred in the precinct over the past six months, compared to only 11 in the same time last year, an increase of 36.3 percent. Felony assaults rose by 23.9 percent, jumping from 159 to 197, and grand larceny posted a small increase of 6.1 percent, moving from 324 to 344.

The murder rate was halved, however, from six in the first half of 2000 to only three over the past six months.

Both robbery and burglary were down. Robbery moved from 298 last year to 281 this year — a 5.7 percent drop — and burglary fell 9.9 percent, from 454 to 409.

Auto thefts showed a substantial drop of 23.5 percent from 543 to 415.

All city precincts, including the 108th and the 114th, compile and submit their crime numbers to police headquarters in Manhattan every Monday. The reports are used to assemble crime statistics and are ultimately sent to the FBI.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

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