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With frigid weather, Astoria’s crime rate declines


March 6, 2015 By Michael Florio

Falling temperatures often lead to a falling crime rate.

This year has been no exception with the crime rate down 15 percent for the year through Feb. 22, compared to the same period a year ago.

While there have been two high-profile murders this year, across most of the major crime categories—there has been a significant drop.

The biggest drop has come in the number of reported robberies and burglaries—two crimes that were persistent problems in 2014. The police reported that the number of reported robberies has dropped more than 40 percent—from 44 to 28 so far this year.

Meanwhile, the number of burglaries has dropped 32 percent so far this year—compared to the same period a year ago. This year 49 burglaries have been reported, down from 72 at this point in 2014.

The number of felony assaults, rapes, and stolen automobiles has also declined.

“I commend our men and women in uniform for their excellent work,” Councilman Costa Constantinides said. “It is important that we stand united for public safety.”

Nevertheless, the murder rate has increased.

There have already been two murders in the precinct this year, up from zero at the same point a year ago.

The first incident occurred on Jan. 12, when Quentin Capobianco, 18, allegedly beat his roommate, Jesse Smith, 29, to death by striking him in the head with a hammer.

A second incident occurred on Jan. 31, when Alexander Bonich, an Astoria resident, allegedly killed his friend, William Kinger, in a fatal shooting at Astoria Park following a business disagreement.

Arrests were made following both incidents.

The number of grand larcenies (stolen items above $1,000) reported was up 13 percent, with 87 reported incidents, compared to 77 in 2014.

Constantinides said that the 114th Precinct is doing a good job and believes that crime will remain low going forward.

“I know that the 114th Police Precinct will continue to work with the community to keep Astoria safe,” he said.

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The real reason for crime rates dropping is because we’ve had 5 months of winter. Wait until the weather gets better and all the ice melts. They always drop every winter.


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