By Eric Yun
The crime rate increased in 104th Precinct in 2010, but police said they’ve made major strides in keeping neighborhoods safe.
The precinct’s Commanding Officer, Inspector Keith Green, and Community Affairs Officer Tommy Bell held the year’s first COP 104 meeting to update Middle Village residents on crime statistics and prevention. The meeting was held at St. Margaret’s Church on Monday in conjunction with the Middle Village Property Owners.
Green reported preliminary statistics show there were 1,749 major crimes in 2010 compared to 1,725 in 2009, a 1.4 percent increase. Felony assaults (a 23 percent increase) and grand larceny autos (a 20.9 percent increase) were the biggest culprits for the rise in crime, and a concentrated effort to curtail robberies and burglaries by the 104th Precinct led to decreases in the area, Green said.
Green said preventing car thefts is a priority for the precinct, and they’ve worked hard with detectives and Queens North have helped reduced numbers. Thieves have caught up to newer model key designs and found ways to clone keys. With these methods, thieves can walk up to a car and start it like they own it, which makes it difficult to catch, he said.
Green warned residents that many robberies occur when valuables are left inside a car. The simplest solution is to take everything of value out of the car. Green recommended GPS users not use suction cups to secure their devices because the suction cup can leave a visible mark on the window that alerts thieves a GPS may be in the vehicle.
Another priority for the 104th Precinct was graffiti—they ranked second in the city in graffiti related arrests—and Green was happy to report they are already ranked first in the city in 2011.