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Big Drop Off in Crime, Although Many Outstanding Cases Remain Unsolved

108 Precinct

Aug. 28, 2014 By Christian Murray

While the crime rate has plummeted this summer across the 108 police precinct, there still remains many unsolved local cases.

The number of reported crimes for the 28 day period ending Sunday, August 24, dropped 28% — from 118 reported incidents to 85 – compared to the same period a year ago, according to Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

With the quiet summer, crime in the precinct is down 2.4% year-to-date.

However, a number of local crimes have yet to be solved. The perpetrator who took $2,000 at gunpoint from Sunnyside Gardens Market (46-01 Skillman Avenue) on August 1 has yet to be apprehended and there are a number of old murder cases that have yet to be closed.

The Lou Rispoli murder, which took place outside 41-00 43rd Avenue on Oct. 12, 2012, remains unsolved and the internal investigation dealing with the police’s response has yet to be made public.

Meanwhile cases such as the homeless man beaten to death in Sabba Park on Sept 7, 2013, has yet to be closed—and no one has been arrested for the murder of Young Joo Byun, who was found in a garbage back in the trunk of her car that was parked near 61st Street and Queens Blvd on May 23, 2013.

However, crime is down significantly across most of the major crime categories in the past 28 days—from felony assaults, grand larcenies, burglaries, robberies and stolen vehicles.

There were seven felony assaults in the precinct for the 28-day period ended August 24, compared to 18 for the same period last year.

“Last year we had a number of assaults near bars and clubs,” Hennessy said. This summer, a greater number of officers focused on bars on the late-night tours, he added.

There were 32 grand larcenies in the 28-day period—many from auto break-ins—down from 49 for the same period last year.

Last summer there were several incidents where criminals broke into cars and stole handbags and laptops—particularly in certain sections of Long Island City and Woodside.

“We have locked up quite a few individuals [for these crimes],” Hennessy said, many of whom have been incarcerated since. He said the precinct has made 30 arrests so far this year for people breaking into cars—double the number from last year.

The number of burglaries dropped in the past 28 days. The precinct reported 18 residential burglaries for the 28-day period, down from 20 for the same period a year ago.

There were five burglaries in the greater Sunnyside area—from 39th Street to 50th Street (Barnett Ave. to 48th Avenue)—during the period. There were four in a small section of Woodside—between 69th and 71st Streets (Roosevelt and 41st Ave). Most were scattered throughout the precinct.

There were 13 stolen vehicles—down from 15– during the 28-day-period.

Thieves continue to target motorcycles. There have been 25 motorbikes stolen in the precinct this year, representing well over a quarter of the 92 vehicles taken this year. Furthermore, many of the cars stolen have been Ford Econoline vans—which the thieves use to cart away the motorbikes.

There were no murders in the 28 day period. Through August 24, there have been 2 murders so far this year—compared to 3 for same period a year ago.

Captain Brian Hennessy

There were 2 rapes reported during the 28-day period, up from one a year ago. In both incidents, the victim knew the alleged perpetrator prior to the incident.

The police have targeted bicyclists this summer. In the past 28 days, 105 tickets were issued—representing more tickets than for the entire 2013 year.

“The majority of the tickets were for disobeying stop signs and going through red lights,” Hennessy said.

The clamp down is part of the city’s focus on Vision Zero, which aims to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero.

“This time last year there were 12 fatals in car accidents,” Hennessy said, referring to the 108 precinct. “We have had zero so far this year.”


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On Labor Day one of the 108’s cars was “smashed” by “revelers” at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.


OK show me 1 safe area in america where there are a lot of those color people…..and where you would let your wife,, daughter girl friend walk home alone at night from the subway or bus……or walk to the local bodega 7/11 at 10pm because you ran out of toilet paper

come on Im waiting


Are you always such a bigoted racist, rikki? You make so many crude and obnoxious comments like this, I wonder – is this your only forum? It’s people like you who give online comment sections a bad name, posting nasty remarks with anonymity I’m guessing you are like this all the time, and even more unpleasant in person.


well we dont have a certain color of criminals living in sunnyside so the crime should be pretty low.


Always nice when the NYPD decides to ticket cyclists for rolling through stop signs, yet ignore the wildly negligent driving behavior that is actually responsible for injuring and killing people. A taxi plowed through the intersection at 39th street and 47th ave so fast last weekend that he smashed into a town house- then he fled. There are two schools within a block of that intersection and one a few blocks further west.

If you really want to reduce fatalities to zero then put a speed camera at every intersection. And police dangerous conduct, not the cyclists who both act to slow traffic patterns and remove cars from the street. When was the last time a cyclist killed someone in the 108th? The way people drive in the 108th it is shocking there aren’t more car related fatalities.

ėürõ snòb

great to hear those those arrogant go-pro wearing, shrink-wrapped crotch bicyclists from hell are getting tickets. keep up the good work, chief!


What about the recent murder on Roosevelt and the upper 60’s?

If you want rid of someone, take care of it in Woodside. They’ll never catch you.


AND if anyone knows anything about these unsolved crimes in the area, please call 1-800-577-TIPS.

– They will never ask for your name
– They won’t record your call
– They won’t trace your phone number
– They won’t make you make a statement to the police
– And you will not have to appear in court

If you know something, please say something, speak up!! Let justice be served! Your courage might make all the difference. Thank you.

Silent majority

I agree with Celtic Bark people run that light constantly on their way to the expressway and there are always accidents and that intersection. There are alot of pedestrians walking and some are elderly and alot of people walking there dogs since the Celtics is a pet friendly Co-op. It’s just a matter of time before the is a pedestrian fatality.

Julia Assange

I wish they would solve the murder of the Korean lady. The Rispoli murder sort of overshadowed hers. She did have children. Hennessey needs to work on the hair gel thing. The T-Mobile robbery – at gun point – was scary and I can’t believe that they can’t figure our who did it. It could have been former employees . . . or locals. Also, the robbery at gun point at the deli on Skilman and 46th scary. But when Jimmy Van Bramer’s house is robbed, they get into full detective mode!


Grateful, I was just about to post that, not only that what about T-Mobile robbery? How about TWO chase bank robberies? What happened to the crazy lady who pushed someone onto the tracks?
I can understand some of these just get lost and cases get closed due to time lapse, and while I appreciate SP bringing these cases back up I wish it did a better job at listing some of the other major crimes. What about wheel theft? Increasing amount of graffiti? Illegal drug/substance usage out in the open or are our police officers themselves smoke enough that they can’t recognize the stench anymore.

Victim, I totally agree with you, even if there was a decrease in crime, it sure is not the result of anything 108 has done because they cannot say that they have done anything particular to deter crime other than planting cameras on just a few corners to watch people or perhaps have an eye on drivers to see if they made illegal turns or blew red lights.


Maybe there is a decrease in crime because people are not reporting it as they know the 108 Precint won’t do anything.


Whatever happened in the case of the man who was held prisoner in an industrial building on 43rd Avenue and 39th St.? That was horrible.


Look at that sh-t eating grin. Guess what, those unsolved cases will remain just that. Stall until the cases are out of headlines and JVB no longer has any use for them, that’s their MO.

Zero the Hero

I’ve seen an office with a radar gun at that intersection some mornings. A red light camera on 50th ave and 43rd street would make a mint. In fact they could put one at 48th ave and 43 st and just double dip on all those drivers that run both lights going to and coming from the expressway…

Celtic Bark

If they want to ticket people for running red lights, they can put a car at the corner of 50th avenue and 43rd street. They’ll make a mint o the fines and make the street a lot safer.


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