Today’s news:

Murders double in 106th Precinct

Murders more than doubled in the 106th Precinct between 2007 and 2008, marking a more than 100 percent increase, according to crime statistics compiled by the Police Department.

There were seven murders in the 106th – which covers Howard Beach, Ozone Park and South Ozone Park – in 2008, compared to three in 2007 – a 133.3 percent spike.

Perhaps the most notorious murder in the precinct was that of Raymond Sheehan, a retired cop who was shot by his wife in June. Sheehan’s wife, Barbara Sheehan, claimed domestic violence led her to kill her husband. The case was yet to get to trial.

Overall, crime was down more than 2.21 percent from 2007 to 2008.

There were 1,503 major crime incidents as of Dec. 21 – the most recent date the NYPD has statistics available – compared to 1,537 in 2007.

The precinct’s largest improvement over last year was in assaults, which saw a 24.6 percent decline.

There were 141 assaults in 2008 compared to 187 for the same period in 2007.

In the five other major crime categories – identified by the Police Department as rape, robbery, burglary, grand larceny and car thefts –, the 106th did not see any double−digit drops or increases.

The precinct’s second−largest decrease came in burglaries at 8.5 percent.

There were 299 burglaries in 2008 and 327 in 2007.

The 106th reported one fewer rape last year than in 2007 – a 5 percent drop. There were 19 reported rapes in 2008 and 20 in 2007.

Car thefts dropped slightly to 1.9 percent from 2007 to 2008. There were 304 reports of stolen cars last year, compared to 310 in 2007.

Robberies were on the rise, with 27 more in 2008 than 2007 – an 8.7 percent increase.

Grand larcenies were up 4.2 percent between 2008 and 2007.

There were 396 grand larcenies last year, compared to 380 in 2007.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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