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Local Crime Spike in November, Modest Increase For Year

Don McCallan (L), Lt. Mark Wachter, Capt. Donald Powers

Dec. 5, 2010 By Christian Murray

While crime in Police Precinct 108 is up this year, the increase is modest and shouldn’t be viewed with alarm, according to police and local leaders.

Crime is up 4.8% in the precinct for the 2010 year through Nov. 28, compared to the same period in 2009. The precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC, is not going through a crime wave nor has a new crime pattern emerged.

“In 1993, Police Precinct 108 was shaky,” said Don McCallan, the president of the United 40s and a well-known figure in the Sunnyside/Woodside district. “Today it is one of the best in the city and the neighborhood is one of the safest.”

However, the crime figures for the 28-day period ending Nov. 28 were not good. Crime was up 29% compared to the same 28 days in 2009.

For the past month, Captain Donald Powers said that there were “no organized patterns”, concerning robberies or burglaries during the month. And while the number of felony assaults were high, he said, there was no major incident – like a brawl in a bar – that led to the spike.

The police reported the following crime numbers for the precinct for the 28-day period ending Nov. 28: there were no murders (just like the same 28-day period ending Nov. 28, 2009); 2 rapes (up from zero last year); 14 robberies (down from 15); 15 felony assaults (up from 6); 23 burglaries (up from 19); 27 grand larcenies (down from 33), and 15 grand larceny autos (up from 13).

In other precinct news, two popular officers, Det. Juan Toro (who has moved to precinct 115 in Jackson Heights) and Lt. Mark Wachter, who is being transferred as a “captain” to a new precinct, were both awarded service plaques from the community.

Meanwhile, two officers were awarded “cop of the month”. The officers pursued two men into a restaurant near 69th and Roosevelt Ave. One man fled into the men’s bathroom and the other the women’s. The perpetrators were later arrested carrying false police badges and a stun gun.

Captain Powers said the precinct will be spending the rest of the year clamping down on crime and getting the 4.8% year-to-date figure down.

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The increase is “modest”? Tell that to the crime victims! BTW: why is the 108th so short handed on holidays? Isn’t there a spike in crime during certain days of the week? We all like the holidays but imagine if nobody showed up at the hospitals on New Year’s Eve or on Memorial Day weekend. I sometimes think that the citizens know more than the professionals.


You should get in touch with some crime victims and ask them how they feel about the lack of progress on their cases!


Not going through a crime wave? I beg to differ! A neighbor just told me that he walked in on a burglary in progress in his apartment about three weeks ago and I hear more stories like this. I believe the culprits are locals – they seem to know when people are going out. In his case, they did not realize that he was retired and would “be back shortly!” This was on 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue. And I hear about stuff going on above the Aubergine. I still keep hearing about it.


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