Today’s news:

Crime down but rape, larceny up in 104th Pct

Crime was down in the 104th Precinct compared with last year, though the precinct that covers Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood did see a substantial increase in rapes and grand larcenies.

The overall number of major index crimes tracked by police — murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft — was down more than 3 percent from 2007, according to NYPD statistics through Dec. 21.

The number of homicides was stable between 2007 and 2008, but all four of the dead in 2008 came from a single Father’s Day fire allegedly caused by 48−year−old Agnes Bermudez, who tossed flammable liquid on her boyfriend during a fight and started a blaze that spread throughout her Middle Village apartment building, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Bermudez’s boyfriend and three of her neighbors died from their injuries. She was charged with murder when she emerged from a coma in November.

Another noteworthy incident was a possibly gang−related shooting Oct. 20 in Ridgewood that wounded two people, including a 5−year−old girl.

At 9:19 p.m. Maria Delgado was walking with her daughter, Jakelyne, in front of 17−12 Himrod St. when they got caught in the crossfire between two groups of young men, the DA said. Police believe the confrontation was a fight between rival gangs operating in the area.

During the gunfight, a bullet hit Jakelyne in the back, puncturing her left lung, the DA said. An unidentified 27−year−old man was shot in the leg and taken to the hospital, also in stable condition, police said. Neither wound was life threatening.

Thomas Hirro, 19, and Wilson Santana, 16, both of 17−12 Himrod St., were arrested the next day and charged with assault, weapons possession and reckless endangerment, the DA said.

There were some increases among the crime categories.

Eighteen rapes were reported for the year through Dec. 21, a 50 percent increase over the previous year. The precinct saw 12 rapes during the same period of 2007.

Burglaries dropped substantially in the precinct, which covers Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood. Some 367 were reported through Dec. 21, compared with 445 for the same period of 2007, a drop of 17.5 percent.

Grand larcenies also climbed, with 494 reported in 2008 compared with 422 in 2007, a 17 percent increase.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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