Robbery dips, but rape and murder rise
By Marie York
The number of robberies and burglaries — which account for about a third of all the crimes that take place in the Riverdale-Kingsbridge area — fell last year, giving local cops a victory in what is far too often a tough crime to battle.
The drop in these two areas was a major reason why overall local crime dipped — with 989 major crimes committed in 2012 compared to 1,014 in 2011 — however, violent crimes, like murder, felony assault and rape, as well as grand larcenies, were on the rise.
Each year, the New York Police Department releases data in seven major areas: robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny motor vehicle, rape, murder and grand larceny for each precinct in the city. Local crime statistics in 2012 contrast with citywide figures that show the number of murders dropped 19 percent while overall crime rose 3.3 percent.
Within the 50th Precinct, there were six murders in 2012, compared to four in 2011. More than half of the homicides, including the brutal killing in October of a mother, Luisa Rodriguez, and her 1-month-old daughter inside their Albany Crescent apartment — took place in Kingsbridge Heights.
The 50th Precinct’s first homicide of the year, on April 19, however, was the murder of Hwang Yang, who was shot and killed on West 232nd Street near Cambridge Avenue, allegedly for his iPhone. The killing marked Riverdale’s first murder in four years and the area’s first murder committed by a stranger since 2007.
The next murder came on Aug. 28, when 26-year-old Anthony Ramirez was killed in an alleged fight on Kingsbridge Avenue.
The following month, Thomas Galvin, 50, was killed inside his 2727 University Ave. apartment. Police said his girlfriend Wendy Walston, 46, intentionally set a fatal fire after he refused to give her money. Ten residents, including a child, were critically injured, fire department officials said.
Soon after, Victor Maldonado, 19, was gunned down in front of 2805 Heath Ave., on Oct. 1, after allegedly getting involved in a dispute that started when his friend held the front door open for another woman who failed to say thank you.