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Murders up 157 percent in 105th Precinct for 2001

In 2001, murders in the 105th Precinct nearly tripled from the previous year even though the overall crime rate dropped by 7.2 percent from the previous year, Police Department statistics showed.

With five of the seven major crime categories showing a decline from incidents in 2000 and one remaining unchanged, murders jumped 157.1 percent from seven in 2000 to 18 in 2001, police statistics showed.

The seven categories of major crimes are murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft. The latest statistics compiled by the precinct track crime for the calendar year 2001.

The 105th Precinct, with headquarters at 92-08 222nd St. in Queens Village, covers Glen Oaks, Floral Park, New Hyde Park and Bellerose to the north and Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Rosedale to the south.

Police reported an overall decrease in crime of 7.2 percent.

Of the seven crime categories, felony assault remained unchanged at 328 in 2001 and the prior year.

In the other five categories:

• Rapes dropped 2.7 percent to 35 from 36, following the trend over the past two years. The 105th has seen rapes fall 25.5 percent during the two-year period.

• Grand theft auto dropped 11.7 percent with 913 incidents last year, down from 1,035 in 2000.

• Robberies declined 8.8 percent from 433 to 395

• Burglary went down 4.8 percent to 627 from 658 in 2000.

• Grand larceny slipped 6.2 percent to 455 reported incidents in 2001 from 485 in 2000.

Two of the murder victims included in the 2001 statistics were found dead in 2000, but the cause of death was determined in 2001 so they are part of the 2001 record, police said.

Tracy Jackson, 28, a mother of four from Springfield Gardens, was found in a plastic bag by a passerby on Dec. 24, 2000, on North Conduit Avenue near 244th Street

The second victim, Angela Worthy, also 28, was found Dec. 29, 2000, by police bound and gagged inside a plastic bag in Springfield Park just off Springfield Boulevard.

No arrests have been made in either murder, and police are still investigating.

Two people in Laurelton were killed recently a block apart in domestic disputes. Sheila Bradley, 32, a federal corrections officer, was allegedly stabbed by her boyfriend at 11:30 a.m. Christmas Day, police said.

Michael Brown, 42, was arrested in the death of Bradley at her home at 219-18 141st Ave. in what police have described as a domestic dispute.

In a separate incident a block away at 218-09 141st Ave., Virginia Shelley, 28, was fatally stabbed during a dispute by an unknown suspect on Dec. 26, according to authorities.

Sheila Pecoraro, head of the 105th Precinct Council, said even though there was a huge jump in the number of murders, there is no way to determine when homicides will happen.

“Cops can’t predict when a murder will take place,” Pecoraro said. “If they could, it would be great.”

She noted that the precinct needs to be appropriately staffed to respond as the cases pile up. She welcomed the drop in crime but was concerned about the precinct’s officer strength. She said in the past five years patrol manpower dropped from 260 to 200, which was cause for alarm.

Arthur Flug, chief of staff for Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), said the councilman was looking into ways to prevent budget cuts for the police and fire departments. He said Weprin does not want to see an impact on the uniformed services, especially when there are so many police officers taking retirement.

All city precincts, including the 105th, compile and submit their crime numbers to police headquarters in Manhattan every Monday. The reports are used to compile crime statistics and are ultimately sent to the FBI.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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