Crime down in 114th in 2011

The murder of Tara Webb by her sister Melanie Webb was one of three murders to occur in Queensbridge Houses this year and five to occur within the 114th Precinct. Photo by Howard Koplowitz
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Crime in the 114th Precinct dropped last year, with the murder rate going down more than 44 percent from 2010, but incidents of crime rose slightly in its southern neighbor, the 108th Precinct, according to Police Department statistics.

The 114th Precinct includes Astoria, Dutch Kills and the Astoria, Ravenswood and Queensbridge public housing developments. In 2011, the 114th Precinct reported 2,007 incidents of crime, a slight decrease from 2010, when the precinct reported 2,030 incidents of crime, authorities said.

The most significant drop in crime was in the homicide rate. Five murders were recorded in the precinct, which represents a comedown from the spike of nine killings in 2010, authorities said.

Of the five murders that took place in the 114th Precinct in 2011, three occurred in Queensbridge. Rochdale resident Clarence Williamson, 39, was killed in January; Queensbridge resident Tara Webb, 27, was killed in March; and Woodside Houses resident Mark Torres, 19, was killed in July, police said.

Webb’s sister Melanie was convicted of her murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison in December, while police have made no arrests in Williamson and Torres’ slayings.

The other two homicides were Guimmia Villia, 32, who was shot inside a pharmacy at 34th Avenue near 24th Street in February, and Valeria Lowery, 32, who was shot in her home near 23rd Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard in December. The suspect in Villia’s killing, Alex Figueroa, shot and killed himself, while Lowery’s stepfather, Guerino Annarumma, was arrested shortly after she was shot, authorities said.

Incidents of crime went up slightly in the 108th Precinct, which encompasses the southern section of Long Island City, Hunters Point, Sunnyside and Woodside. Police reported 1,255 incidents of crime in 2010 and 1,266 incidents of crime in 2011. The murder rate between 2010 and 2011 remained exactly the same, with two murders each occurring in both years.

Police only released information on one of the two 2011 murders in the 108th precinct. Wayne Graves, 62, was found dead in his apartment in Woodside’s Berkley Co-Op Towers Section II in October, authorities said. Police have made no arrests.

The 114th Precinct reported increases in three different types of crime. The precinct reported 26 rapes in 2011 compared to 16 in 2010, 345 felony assaults in 2011 compared to 283 in 2010, and 647 grand larcenies in 2011 compared to 646 in 2010. Three other types of crime saw decreases. There were 331 robberies last year compared to 333 in 2010, 465 burglaries in 2011 compared to 483 in 2010 and 188 grand auto larcenies in 2011 compared to 260 in 2010.

The 108th Precinct saw crime go down in many areas. There were 11 rapes in 2011 compared to 17 in 2010, 155 robberies in 2011 compared to 195 in 2010, 120 felony assaults in 2011 compared to 131 in 2010 and 181 grand auto larcenies in 2011 compared to 198 in 2010. There was a rise in burglaries, with 291 occurring in 2011 compared to 256 in 2010, and grand larcenies, with 506 occurring in 2011 compared to 456 in 2010.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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