By Howard Koplowitz
Murders in the 102nd Precinct, which covers Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park and Kew Gardens, skyrocketed 700 percent from 2007 to the end of last year, by far the largest increase in Queens, crime statistics showed.
As of Dec. 21, the most recent date statistics have been recorded, the 102nd reported eight murders, compared to just one murder as of that date in 2007.
The uptick in murders represented the largest spike in that crime category in the borough. The 100th Precinct in Far Rockaway saw a 400 percent increase in murders.
Maria Thomson, the president of the 102nd Precinct Community Council, said she still considered the communities in the 102nd safe despite the rise in murders because five of the killings were “acquaintance stabbings.”
“The statistics look very bad,” Thomson said.
But she noted that there were arrests made in the five stabbing deaths.
“We are still basically a very safe precinct,” Thomson said.
The 102nd also recorded increases in four of the other six major crime categories: rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny and car thefts.
Grand larcenies represented the secondâˆ’largest increase in the precinct.
There were 446 grand larcenies in the precinct as of Dec. 21, compared to 393 last year — a 13.4 percent spike.
The precinct also recorded an 8.7 percent increase in rapes. There were 25 rapes reported as of Dec. 21 and 23 last year.
There were also 20 more reports of stolen cars, from 329 as of Dec. 21 to 309 last year — a 6.4 percent increase.
Robberies represented the smallest increase at 3.4 percent. There were 332 reported robberies as of Dec. 21 and 321 last year.
The precinct’s bright spots were in burglaries and assaults, where it recorded decreases.
Burglaries saw the biggest drop at 16 percent. There were 320 burglaries as of Dec. 21 and 381 last year.
Assaults were down 12 percent. The precinct recorded 207 assaults as of Dec. 21 and 230 last year.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by eâˆ’mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718âˆ’229âˆ’0300, Ext. 173.