Crime rate undergoes sharp decline, 108 precinct reports
The crime rate took a significant nose dive in June throughout Police Precinct 108, which covers Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City.
Captain Donald Powers, the precinct’s commanding officer, said that the number of reported crimes for the 28 day period ending Sunday, June 24, had dropped 31% — from 96 incidents to 66–compared to the same period a year ago. This was the biggest decline of all 76 commands in New York City– and was the catalyst for the precinct’s crime rate being down 3.8% for the year to date.
The most notable decline was in the number of reported burglaries, dropping from 27 incidents for the 28 day period in 2011–to 12 for this period. “Burglaries are starting to go in the right direction,” Powers said, who was speaking at the monthly precinct meeting at the Sunnyside Community Center on Tuesday. “We put a lot of [burglary] crews out of circulation in May and it is beginning to show [up in the numbers].”
In May, the police arrested Herman Oliazola who was wanted for three burglaries in the 108 precinct, including one in Sunnyside Gardens. Furthermore, the police arrested two men who broke into a Woodside house, and another crew–Jefferson Villarama and Michael Natindim– who tried to get into a house with a blowtorch on the border of Woodside and Maspeth.
Despite these recent successes, the number of reported burglaries is still up 7% for the year.
Robberies, however, remain a persistent problem, despite the number of reported incidents being flat in the most recent 28 day period. The number of robberies is up 24% for the year through June 24, from 68 to 84 incidents. While Powers said these numbers were too high, he said there wasn’t an easy explanation as to what was behind the surge.
Powers said that there have not been any reported incidents of tire & rim thefts or gropings in the past 28 days.
Community Person of the Year
Meanwhile, the 108 Police Precinct Community Council presented its annual Community Person of the Year award to Joseph Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, for his volunteer work.
“He is a fighter for Queens…and for over two decades, has been elected term after term to the volunteer office of Chair of Community Board 2, which is, in our view, the best-managed and most fair board in New York City,” his award read.