Today’s news:

College Point man busted in church robbery: Cops

A College Point man suspected of committing at least four robberies of a church just blocks away from where he lives was arrested last Thursday morning, the police said.

The man was identified as Robert Dean, of 122-17 11th Ave. He was charged with criminal trespassing and burglary, the police said.

Dean is accused of committing at least four robberies at St. Agnes Church on 11th Avenue in College Point during the last month, usually taking computer equipment, police officials said. In some instances, witnesses told police they spotted Dean wearing women’s clothing, the officials said.

Around 4:50 a.m. last Thursday, detectives from the 109th Precinct in Flushing were staking out the high school, rectory and convent when they spotted Dean leaping over a fence and entering the school yard, police officials said. The detectives placed him under arrest, the officials said.

Statements obtained from Dean allegedly linked him to a series of robberies at St. Agnes, including one that took place in the convent, police officials said.

For the period of January through July, crime statistics for the 109th Precinct, which covers College Point as well as Whitestone, Flushing and Bay Terrace, show that the number of reported burglaries increased to 549 from 465 during the same period last year. The number of grand larcenies increased to 647, compared with the 557 reported last year, while the number of rapes increased to 12 from eight.

The data shows that there were decreases in the other crime categories — grand larceny of an automobile, felony assaults, robberies and murder. The number of automobile thefts fell to 603, from 764; the number of felony assaults to 184 from 191; the number of robberies to 221 from 254; and the number of murders to two from 10 a year earlier.

Overall, the crime rate in the 109th Precinct has remained essentially the same over the past year, dropping by a little more than one percent, the figures show. The police said there were 2,218 incidents reported between January and July, compared with 2,249 during the same period last year.

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

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