April 23, 2014 By Michael Florio
The burglary rate in Astoria continues to spike, although there are early signs that it might be about to moderate.
This year, there have been 137 burglaries reported in police precinct 114 (which mostly covers Astoria) through April 13. That number represents a 47% jump from the same period in 2013, when 93 burglaries were reported.
Burglars have largely targeted apartment buildings, where they have been climbing up fire escapes and entering into the apartments through open windows. Buildings in the Steinway Street (from 28th Ave to 30th Ave) vicinity have been prime targets.
However, this spike could be abating, with the precinct claiming that it is starting to get on top of the problem.
For instance, for the week ending April 21, there were only three burglaries—down from 11 for the same week a year ago.
Deputy Inspector Kevin Maloney, the commanding officer of the 114th precinct, attributed the decline to greater resident awareness as well as some solid arrests.
Maloney said the police have been distributing literature throughout Astoria for some time, alerting the community where the burglaries have been taking place and how residents can prevent them.
Maloney said the precinct has also made several burglary arrests in the past month.
“Hopefully we have turned the tide with burglaries and will see a measured decrease going forward,” Maloney said.
The burglary rate has played a significant role in driving up the crime rate in the 114th precinct this year. The crime rate is up roughly 10% for the year through April 13, compared to the same period in 2013.