Today’s news:

Crime declines in 109th Pct.

Crime in the 109th Precinct has declined across the board over the past year by 10.2 percent led by significant drops in murder, rape and grand larceny auto theft, the city Police Department reported Monday.

There were 1,990 crimes recorded in the precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point and Bay Terrace, down from the 2,174 incidents in the same period through Dec. 27 last year, the NYPD statistics showed.

The drop in crime reflected in large part a 23.5 percent decrease in grand larceny auto to 287 in 2009 from 375 in the year-earlier period. The NYPD tracks seven major crime categories and files weekly reports to its CompStat unit.

The number of murders went down to three from four last year and 12 rape reports fell to 12 in 2009 from 17 in the January-December period of 2008.

Despite the weak economy, burglaries decreased 8.9 percent to 408 compared to 446 in the year-earlier period. Grand larceny reports fell 9.6 percent to 800 incidents from 885 in the January-December span last year.

Robberies showed the smallest decline of 1.4 percent with the number of incidents edging down to 272 from 276 the year before. Felonious assault dropped by 1.9 percent to 208 reports vs. 212 reports filed in the year-ago period.

Auto theft was down 23.5 percent to 287 from 375 the year before, the statistics showed.

While crime complaints for the final four days of 2009 had not yet been added when police released the latest statistics Monday, the trend continued the downward trajectory of crime in the precinct over the past two decades.

The overall crime rate has fallen 78.79 percent since 1993 in the 109th Precinct, and crime complaints have fallen by more than 40 percent in each category, the NYPD said.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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