The area, which covers Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale and Hollis Hills, saw an 11 percent rise in robberies, with 118 reported in 2005 compared to 106 the previous year.Many of the robberies involve students after school approached for cell phones, iPods or cash, according to Lt. Daniel Heffernan. Police have urged students not to take such items to school, and the precinct's youth team is focusing on the after-school robberies, Heffernan said.In the six other felony categories that the NYPD tracks weekly through its CompStat system, the 111th saw reductions across the board. No murders were reported in 2005, down from one in 2004, when a body was found in a Windsor Park dumpster. One fatal stabbing in Bayside, which took place in September, was ruled self-defense and not counted as a murder.There was a single incident of rape reported in the precinct, down from eight the previous year. Felony assaults dropped by almost 28 percent, from 66 in 2004 to 48 in 2005. Grand larcenies- remained at about the same level, with 504 reported in 2005 and 510 in 2004.Auto thefts, once a persistent problem in the precinct, have continued to drop in the 111th, reflecting a trend across the borough. In 2005, 215 reports of grand larceny auto were filed in the precinct, down almost 25 percent from 2004.The 111th Precinct ranked fourth in the city for crime reduction. Two of the other top four precincts, the 108th in Long Island City and the 109th in Flushing, are also in Queens Patrol Borough North.In 2006, under the new command of Deputy Inspector Scott Hanover, police hope to continue the trend, Heffernan said.The precinct expects to receive seven new officers who, after spending a year in an "impact zone"--a high crime area where new officers are placed to gain experience-in Brooklyn, will work as part of a "conditions team" designed to target resources based on crime patterns in particular areas at particular times."We're closely monitoring our conditions and putting police officers where we need them," Heffernan said.In addition, Heffernan said, the precinct has a new officer in the crime prevention unit, which is available to survey homes to help residents prevent burglaries.Heffernan said members of the community can help keep themselves from becoming victims of crime. Many grand larcenies happen when people leave purses, laptops or other expensive items in cars, he said. Car owners should try to park in garages or well-lighted areas, Heffernan said. In addition, police recommend that SUV owners buy brush guards that bolt on to the front of the vehicle to protect grilles and headlights that can be easy to steal, particularly on Lexus models, Heffernan said.Another source of grand larcenies is identity theft, which can be reduced by shredding junk mail and using caution when giving personal information on the Internet.Outside of the seven major crime categories, Heffernan said other "quality of life" offenses, including graffiti, are down. He said traffic officers will continue to focus on moving violations to reduce accidents.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 188.
©2006 Community News Group
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