By Joe Anuta
Overall crime was slightly up in the 109th Precinct in 2012 compared to 2011, although major crimes including rape and murder fell by about 50 percent each.
Inspector Brian Maguire, who was recently promoted from deputy inspector, ran through the statistics at a Monday night meeting of Community Board 7. Maguire is the commanding officer at the precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Bay Terrace and part of Auburndale.
Murders dropped from eight in 2011 to four in 2012, a decrease of 50 percent, according to NYPD statistics.
Three of the murders occurred over a three-month span this fall.
In August, Alejandro Ramos, 45, was shot in the back in a courtyard of the Bland Houses, according to police. Then in September, a city Parks Department worker fatally stabbed his co-worker, 31-year-old Ezra Black, according to the Queens district attorney. The two men got into an argument over how to handle a bag of garbage at the Al Oerter Recreation Center, according to multiple reports.
In October, a 37-year-old Chinese tourist named Haiyan Yang was mugged in downtown Flushing, according to police. A blow she suffered during the attack left her brain dead, and she later died from her injuries, according to the Queens district attorney.
Rapes declined as well from 19 in 2011 to 10 last year, according to Maguire, a 47 percent decrease. The inspector said the majority of rapes in the 109th Precinct occur between people who know each other.
The next largest crime shift was in stolen cars. The precinct registered 287 thefts in 2011 but only 214 last year for a decrease of 25 percent, according to the NYPD.
Maguire said Ford Econoline vans are the most stolen car in the precinct, and many crews steal them to sell to scrap yards.
But grand larceny increased from 695 in 2011 to 773 last year, a rise of about 11 percent. If the property is valued at more than $1,000 or a credit card was taken, it qualifies as grand larceny, according to police.
Many of the thefts occur due to people leaving property unattended in their vehicles, according to Maguire, who said all manner of pocketbooks, cellphones and even laptops and cash are left behind in cars and frequently taken. Maguire also said thieves are stealing whole car doors and seats from cars, and urged neighbors to report any suspicious auto maintenance being performed during the wee hours.
Burglaries increased from 399 in 2011 to 439 last year, a rise of 10 percent. Crews from around the city travel to middle-class and affluent neighbors in areas like Whitestone and College Point to break into homes, according to Maguire.
Felony assaults rose from 242 in 2011 to 263 last year, an increase of nearly 9 percent, according to Maguire, who said that about 46 percent of felony assaults occur in the home. Robberies increased from 252 in 2011 to 268 last year, the inspector said.
At a 109th Precinct Community Council meeting, three domestic violence officers — Eunha Kim, Tatina Virzi and Troy Presod — were honored as Cops of the Month along with Sgt. Allen Yip, who oversees the unit. Presod made the second-most domestic violence arrests in the entire city, according to Maguire.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.