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Glen Oaks crime drops in 2004: Police

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Overall crime incidents were down from 3,740 in 2003 to 3,481 in 2004. That was an average of 9.5 crimes reported each day in 2004. .Murders were down from 13 in 2003 to 10 in 2004 and have dropped 67.6 percent in the last 11 years, according to the crime statistics for the year. The precinct had seen the first murder of the year in 2004 on New Year's Day in Queens when a 68-year-old diner owner was found stabbed to death in his apartment in Bellerose. George Rigos was a Greek immigrant who owned a diner in Manhattan and lived at the apartment where he was killed for eight years previous to his death. No arrest have been made in connection with the murder.Grand larceny auto in the 105th decreased from 723 cases in 2003 to 597 cases in 2004, although it still ranked among the worst in the entire city, according to Lt. John Breheny. In the last 11 years auto thefts have dropped more than 80 percent in the precinct. Breheny said the precinct offers free windshield etching at designated times that can lead to the arrest of someone found to be driving a stolen car as well as saving money on car insurance. There are also a number of programs the precinct offers whereby the car owner agrees to allow the police to pull over their car if it is being driven at odd hours or by young drivers. Breheny encouraged residents to contact the precinct for more information on the programsThe two other categories that saw a decrease were robbery, which fell by 13.8 percent and burglary which dropped 16.3 percent, according to police. The three categories that recorded an increase in the number of reported cases were rape, felony assault, and grand larceny, which were up 6.4 percent, 12.7 percent, and 7.6 percent respectively from the previous year.Breheny said because all rape numbers are lumped together the data can sometimes appear worse than it is. He said the precinct looks at "stranger rape" as a gauge as to how safe the neighborhoods are for women walking alone down the street. He added that all rapes, from date rapes and statutory rapes to rape by someone the victim knows, are all in one category and that while those numbers are up, stranger rape has remained about the same. "That's the one we want to stop," said Breheny.The 105th Precinct stretches from Glen Oaks in the north down along the Nassau County border to Brookville in the south and covers and area of over 12 square miles. The precinct had come under fire earlier in the year after an internal investigation was conducted to see if crime complaints had been downgraded so that they would not fall into one of the seven major crime categories and thus reflected a drop in overall reports. Deputy Inspector Thomas Manzolillo indicated there was no reason to believe the numbers had been fudged at a community meeting shortly after the issue became public. Manzolillo was subsequently transferred to District 12, a transit bureau in the Bronx in July. Capt. Stephen O'Brien, who took over the command of the 105th after Manzolillo. has recently been promoted to the deputy inspector post, according to police.Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 173.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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