104th, 114th crime drops, rate in 108th up 4 percent

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The 104th Precinct showed a 4.7 percent drop in crime for the first six months of 2002 compared to last year, although burglaries and robberies both persisted at higher rates in the area.

Crime rates in the 114th Precinct dropped by more than 6 percent since last year, while a 4.1 percent rise in the 108th Precinct was driven by an increase in thefts and assaults.

Murders in western Queens remained low this year, with only six reported across all three precincts over the past six months, compared to eight last year. The sharpest drop was in the 104th, which had three murders last year but only one this year — the highly publicized slaying of Armando Moreno, whose wife stabbed him in the chest in their Maspeth home before slashing herself to death on the street.

The only increase in murders occurred in the 108th, which had three this year compared to two last year, while murders in the 114th followed the opposite trend, dropping to two from three in the first half of 2001.

The 104th Precinct stretches from Middle Village and Maspeth south to Glendale and Ridgewood. The 114th Precinct covers Astoria and parts of Long Island City north of Queens Plaza, while the 108th Precinct includes the rest of Long Island City as well as Woodside and Sunnyside.

Crime statistics are reported by the New York Police Department on its Web site through the CompStat system, which logs incidents of crime in every precinct and compares them to figures from previous years.

In all three precincts crime rates for the first half of this year remained well below levels from nine years ago: The 114th Precinct showed a drop of 61.4 percent in that time, while the 108th has fallen 57.2 percent and the 104th declined 65.6 percent.

Violent crimes in the 104th Precinct showed a sharp decline while those related to the theft of property all rose.

In addition to the drop in murders, felony assaults fell by 25 percent, while rapes remained constant with 10 incidents reported in the first six months of both years. Grand larceny of an auto also declined markedly, by 26.2 percent.

But burglary rose by 18.6 percent, robbery by 6.9 percent and grand larceny by 4.6 percent.

Compared to the first six months of last year, crime in the 114th Precinct dropped in every category except for rape and grand larceny. The number of rapes in the precinct rose by one — 16 compared to 15 last year — while incidents of grand larceny rose by 5.8 percent. Robberies, burglaries, car thefts and felony assaults all fell.

Ann Bruno, the president of the 114th Precinct Community Council, attributed the drop in crime to the leadership of Capt. David Barrere, who took the helm earlier this year.

“They’re much more active in pursuing things,” Bruno said. “When a report comes in or somebody complains, they go after it real fast now in our precinct.”

But crime in the 108th Precinct rose in every category but rape — which fell from seven incidents last year to three this year — and grand larceny of an automobile, which dropped 17.6 percent.

A source at the precinct attributed the 10.1 percent increase in grand larceny — defined as the theft of any property worth more than $1,000, or any removal of property from a person not involving the use of force — to credit card fraud and the theft of Acura headlights from cars, which cost $2,000 to replace.

Robberies in the 108th Precinct rose by 29.6 percent, burglaries by 8.1 percent, and felony assaults by 20 percent.

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

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