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Despite Dec. murder, crime drops in 111th

BY M. JUNAID ALAM

Overall crime fell by 15.95 percent.”Crime is down for the year,” 111th Community Affairs Officer William Conway said.The precinct covers Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Hollis Hills and part of Fresh Meadows.Statistics provided by the Police Department fall into seven categories: murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto. They are the major incidents tracked by the department's CompStat system, which holds precincts accountable for increases in crime.The latest crime data available is through Dec. 16 compared to the same period of 2006, with the exception of the murder that occurred on Dec. 26.In the 111th, there were no murders in 2006, while there was one in 2007. The homicide occurred the day after Christmas, when 35-year-old Domingo Hernandez was found face-up on a handball court in Admiral Park, at the intersection of Little Neck Parkway and 42nd Avenue.The man lived in a Northern Boulevard apartment and worked at a local pizza shop in Little Neck Plaza. No arrests had been made and no motive had been identified, police said last week.There were four rapes in 2006, while there were seven in 2007, a 75 percent rise. Conway said all seven rapes in 2007 were acquaintance rapes — cases where the victim personally knew the perpetrator.There were 130 robberies in 2006, compared to 78 in 2007, marking a 40 percent drop.Felony assaults rose 2.1 percent to 48 in 2007 from 47 the year before. The precinct also reported 363 burglaries in 2006. against 305 in 2007, a 15.9 percent drop.Conway said there was a “spike” in burglaries in December but could not say whether the rise could be ascribed to increased opportunity amid the busy holiday shopping season. Finally, 440 grand larcenies occurred in 2006, compared to 376 in 2007, a 14.5 percent drop, and 163 grand larceny autos were reported in 2006, against 150 in 2007, for a 7.9 percent decline.Conway offered tips and advice for area residents looking to reduce their chances of becoming crime victims.To help prevent burglaries, homeowners should keep their windows closed and locked whenever possible, Conway said.”People think, 'I'm never going to get burglarized because I've never been burglarized,'” he said of the prevailing mentality.Conway said burglars have sometimes used victims' own ladders, left outside, to climb into side or rear windows.He also advised motorists not to leave expensive merchandise, like laptops, lying around in their cars in plain view or with the windows down.In one recent incident, a man left his Lexus parked — with the keys in the car -on Bell Boulevard while going to the deli, and someone else drove away with it, the Conway said.”A lot of crimes are very, very easily preventable,” he noted.Reach reporter M. Junaid Alam by e-mail at malam@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext 174.

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