114 Pct. sees small rise in crime since January

By Nathan Duke

For 2007 the precinct reported a 6.4 percent drop in crime, including a decrease in the number of murders and rapes in the precinct, according to the stats. But crime rose 1.28 percent during the first three months of 2008, with increases in the number of robberies, burglaries and grand larceny auto incidents.The precinct covers Astoria, Long Island City and small slivers of Woodside and Jackson Heights.In both 2007 and 2008, the 114th Precinct reported one homicide and four rapes during the first quarter, police records show.The only murder reported in the precinct so far this year was a reclassified incident from Sept. 5, 2007 in which a baby died from being scalded, police said. The baby, a two-week to three-week old girl, was burned after she was dropped into hot water at 40-15 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City, police said.That case is still being investigated and no arrests have been made, police said.But the number of reported incidents rose in three of the seven major crime categories during the first three months of this year. The number of burglaries has risen slightly in the precinct from 64 incidents during the first quarter of 2007 to 67 incidents during the first three months of 2008, according to the precinct.The precinct reported a more dramatic increase in the number of burglaries so far this year, rising from 81 incidents during 2007's first quarter to 104 incidents during that same period this year, according to the precinct. There has also been a rise in grand larceny auto incidents from 72 incidents at this time last year to 79 incidents in 2008 so far, the crime stats showed.Crime also dropped in two categories: the number of felony assaults fell from 59 incidents in 2007's first quarter to 48 incidents during the first three months of 2008, while the number of grand larceny incidents dropped from 186 in 2007's first three months to 170 in 2008.In 2007, the number of murders, rapes, robbery and grand larceny auto incidents dropped, while the number of felony assaults, burglaries and grand larceny incidents rose.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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