109th pct.: Rapes up 37.5%, crime drops 3.7%

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Although the number of rapes reported in the 109th Precinct jumped by 37.5 percent in 2001, overall crime dropped in the precinct by nearly 3.7 percent, police statistics showed.

According to Officer Jennara Everleth, a spokeswoman for the NYPD, the number of crimes reported fell from 4,111 in 2000 to 3,960 in 2001 in the 109th Precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Malba, Bay Terrace and Auburndale.

Four of the seven major crime categories — murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of automobiles — decreased in 2001. Most significantly, the number of murders reported declined from 12 in 2000 to five in 2001, according to Everleth.

The 12 murders in 2000, including five workers at a Wendy’s restaurant in downtown Flushing who were shot and killed execution-style, were extraordinarily high for the precinct, according to the Queens district attorney.

Officer Henry Sookhu of the 109th Precinct’s Community Affairs Division said the precinct was happy with the drop but working to further decrease crime.

In particular, Sookhu referred to grand larceny, which has risen from 1,080 in 2000 to 1,177 in 2001.

“With the increase in shopping areas, it is going to go up,” said Sookhu. “You have a larger population, and a lot of money exchanges hands.”

Sookhu pointed to areas such as the shopping center along 20th Avenue in College Point. He said an increase in commerce led to more opportunities for theft from individuals, which is classified as grand larceny.

The 109th Precinct is trying to make people more aware of the threat of thefts in an attempt to reduce grand larceny, Sookhu said.

According to Everleth, reports of rape climbed from 16 in 2000 to 22 in 2001. Sookhu said part of the increase may be caused by recent efforts by police to have more rapes reported.

“Rape was always there,” said Sookhu. “But we’re trying to encourage people more and more to report it.”

In other crime categories, robbery fell from 433 in 2000 to 388 in 2001, felony assault dropped from 371 to 327 and grand larceny auto slipped from 1,259 to 1,077, according to Everleth.

Burglaries increased from 940 to 964, she said.

The murder of a Kentucky man in a Flushing nightclub in March was one of the more prominent murders that took place in Flushing.

According to police, Tony Quiang, 28, of Kentucky, was stabbed to death shortly after 2 a.m. on March 3, caught in a fight between two Asian gangs at the Take One Club at 36-51 Main St.

While Sookhu said the precinct was working to cut down grand larceny, he said it was difficult to prevent killings such as Quiang’s.

“How do you prevent murder?” he asked. “It’s something you can’t.”

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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