The 2004 figures provided by the New York Police Department comprised a breakdown of seven crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft.The total of those offenses reported last year in the 112th Precinct covering Forest Hills and Rego Park was 1,653 - a 2.4 percent hike since 2003.Youths were involved in all four of the year's homicides. In July, a 17-year-old shot and killed someone he was arguing with near 63rd Road and 99th Street before running into an alley and fatally shooting himself in the head, according to police.Infant Matthew Perilli suffocated to death Aug. 11 in a Forest Hills day-care center after unsupervised toddlers allegedly piled toys on top of him in his crib. Although it is unlikely anyone will be arrested for the murder, the Queens district attorney's office said it was considering pressing criminal charges against the center's operator.Then on Oct. 26, 19-year-old Stewart Alverado was shot to death outside a deli on Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park following a brawl. Marco Cribillero, 22, was charged with second-degree murder in the case.The last homicide of 2004 occurred early Christmas Eve when Davey Adams, 20, was stabbed to death outside the Midway Theater. A 15-year-old from Rego Park was charged with the murder and three other teenagers face gang assault charges for allegedly punching and kicking Adams and his friends, the DA said.The ages of the defendants and victims have raised concerns among police officers and community leaders. 112th Precinct Capt. John Philbin said initiatives such as the Explorers Program, which teaches high school students about police work, were there to combat any rise in youth violence.Heidi Chain, president of the 112th Community Precinct Council, said meetings with civics and the precinct on the topic were planned for February.The drastic hike in rapes last year was another cause for concern within the community. At least two of the nine reported rapes in 2004 have been attributed to a serial rapist. Both happened in Rego Park, one on Saunders Street on Oct. 29 and the other in an apartment building near Wetherole Street Nov. 28, police said. The two victims were women in their early 20s. The assailant is also thought by police to have raped another woman in Elmhurst Oct. 22.Philbin said there have been no new developments in their search for the suspect.Despite the rise in violent crimes, Philbin and Chain said their most common and persistent problem was burglary, which rose by 22.2 percent for a total of 396 in 2004. Philbin said the increase has been brought under control, however, since the precinct stepped up and made around 10 burglary arrests in September and October."We put up a good fight that really paid off," he said.The statistics also show that car theft took a 17.7 percent drop to 265 in 2004 while robbery, assault and grand larceny remained about the same.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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