Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crime Down 10% in 106 Precinct by Howard Koplowitz-

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During a candlelit vigil in October for Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello, dozens of people gather at Romeo’s Pizzeria in Ozone Park. Antoniello’s brother Carmine (l.) was among mourners asking for any information to help find the killers.

Buoyed by sharp decreases in murders, rapes and robberies, major crime decreased more than 10 percent in the 106th Precinct in southern Queens between 2008 and 2009, according to city Police Department statistics.

Murders in the precinct declined 62.5 percent between 2008 and 2009, the largest percentage decrease in the precinct between the seven major crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and stolen cars.

There were three murders in the precinct as of Dec. 27, the latest date for which the statistics were recorded, compared to eight as of the same date last year.

Rapes in the 106th, which covers Howard Beach, Ozone Park and South Ozone Park, dropped 44.4 percent for the precinct’s second-largest decrease. There were 10 rapes within the precinct’s boundaries in 2009 compared to 18 in 2008.

Robberies in the precinct also fell by nearly one-third from 2008-09, according to the statistics. There were 239 robberies in the 106th in 2009, compared to 346 in 2008 — a 30.9 percent decline.

The precinct also saw drops in the number of stolen cars and grand larcenies. There were 273 reports of stolen cars in the 106th in 2009, compared to 311 in 2008 — a 12.2 percent decrease. Grand larcenies fell nearly 7 percent from 407 in 2008 to 379 in 2009, according to the statistics.

Overall, crime in the seven major categories dropped 10.46 percent from 2008 to 2009. There were 1,378 crimes classified in the seven categories in 2009 compared to 1,539 in 2008.

The precinct showed increases in felony assaults and burglaries. There were 164 felony assaults in the precinct in 2009 and 147 in 2008 — an 11.6 percent increase. Burglaries in the precinct rose slightly, from 302 in 2008 to 210 in 2009 — a 2.6 percent increase.