Whitestone’s burglary problem greatly exaggerated: 109th Pct.

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Police in the 109th Precinct said there has not been a spike in burglaries in Whitestone in recent weeks despite reports from the community to the contrary.

Detective Kevin O’Donnell said misinformation has spread among community members in recent weeks after a community member gave a false statistic at a recent Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Association meeting, indicating there had been a burglary a day in the northern Queens community during the months of September and October.

O’Donnell said there has been no recent increase in burglaries in Whitestone or anywhere else within the precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, North Flushing, Broadway and parts of Bay Terrace and Auburndale.

“Compared to this time last year, we’re down more than 100 burglaries on the year, and that’s for the entire 109th Precinct,” he said. “If we had a burglary a day in Whitestone, we’d be up like 100 percent on the year.”

According to crime statistics compiled by the NYPD, as of Oct. 12 the 109th Precinct had recorded a 23 percent drop in burglaries from the same time last year — falling by 107 reported incidents from 464 to 357.

Burglaries have been a problem for several years in the suburban northern Queens neighborhoods covered by the 109th and 111th precincts.

Whitestone resident Despina Skordas was a recent victim of a burglary when someone broke into her house in broad daylight while she was at work in late September, ransacking the rooms and snatching cash as well as jewelry.

“They obviously have a lot of guts, these burglars, because they’re doing it in broad daylight,” Skordas said. “This was a complete violation of my privacy. I went out of my mind when I found out.”

No one had been arrested in Skordas’ burglary case by press time.

The 109th Precinct said it remained committed to reducing the number of burglaries in the area and urged residents to remain vigilant in their communities.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, ext. 138.

Updated 6:37 pm, October 10, 2011
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