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115th Precinct sees drop in crime in 2010

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The New York Police Department’s 115th Precinct saw slight decreases in almost all types of crimes this year, with murders dropping from eight to three compared to 2009, according to statistics for the period ended Dec. 19.

The precinct saw crime drop by a little more than 1.16 percent in 2010, with 1,706 incidents occurring in 2010 compared to 1,726 in 2009 during the same time period. The precinct encompasses Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, East Corona and North Corona.

The largest decrease occurred in murders, which fell from eight in 2010 to three in 2009. This was one of the lowest murder rates for the precinct in years. The precinct recorded five murders in 2001, 13 in 1998, 18 in 1995 and 28 in 1990.

One killing that hit the headlines occurred at the end of November, when an unidentified man died in a fatal double stabbing near 98th Street and 37th Avenue. The other man, also unidentified, survived. Police have made no arrests and had released no names as of Tuesday presstime.

The number of rapes in 2010 was the same as last year at 32. Robberies and felony assaults both fell by less than 1 percent: there were 333 robberies in 2010 compared to 335 in 2009 and 317 felony assaults in 2010 compared to 319 in 2009 through Dec. 19.

One of those assaults touched the community. Mexican immigrant Victor Mejia, who was living in Corona, was allegedly beaten by Jackson Heights residents 28-year-old Jorge Paret and 23-year-old Andardo Batista in November when he went to deliver their pizza. The two were arrested. Mejia remains in a coma, and City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) has set up a bank account for donations to help his wife and sick mother.

Burglaries dropped by more than 2 percent with 293 in 2009 through Dec. 19 and 286 in 2010. Grand larcenies also decreased by almost 3 percent with 512 in 2009 so far this year and 498 in 2010.

The only crime to increase was grand larceny auto, which jumped by almost 4 percent this year, with 237 incidents occurring in 2010 and 228 incidents occurring in 2009.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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