By Sophia Chang and Mallory Simon
Overall, crime over the first six months of 2004 has dropped 14.41 percent in the precinct when compared with the same time period last year, according to police statistics through June 20. There have been 612 reported incidents so far this year, while last June the year-to-date incidents numbered 715.
Last year there was one homicide reported by June 2003 and a total of two for the year.
111th Precinct Capt. Thomas Pilkington said, however, a string of recent motorcycle thefts in the area has bolstered the precinct's grand larceny auto statistics to 136 incidents, which still represents a 25 percent decrease from the 183 reported cases in the January-June span last year.
Pilkington said the motorcycles have been stolen from garages and streets, and police were investigating whether the thefts were connected.
Five rapes have been reported since January in the precinct, which covers Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Oakland Gardens and part of Auburndale. Compared with statistics from last year, when three rapes had been reported by June, this was a 66.6 percent increase.
Felonious assault reports fell by more than 44 percent from 47 cases in 2003 to 26 this year.
There have been 43 reported cases of robberies, down from 53 cases in 2003. But the 207 incidents of burglary represented an increase of 11.2 percent over last year's reported 186 burglaries.
The last category of crime tracked by the police is grand larceny, and there have been 194 cases, down nearly 20 percent from last year's 242 cases.
The statistics bear out the bedroom communities' claim of being one of the borough's safest areas in terms of violent crime. Patrol Borough Queens North, which tracks total crimes committed in northern Queens, has reported 16 homicides, 82 rapes and 706 felonious assaults total for the past six months in the 104th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 114th, and 115th precincts.
Of the total for the northern half of Queens, the 111th Precinct accounted for only one murder, five rapes and 26 felonious assaults in the first six months of the year.
But the murder of Canadian resident Stacey Ann Sappleton, who had disappeared from a taxi she took from LaGuardia Airport to her future in-laws' home in Brookville before winding up dead in the dumpster behind a Bayside supermarket, remains a perplexing and unsolved mystery.
Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.