QUEENS — Something's fishy in Astoria.
Cops are on the hunt for a brazen bandit who swiped $1,600 of raw fish from a sushi restaurant in the nabe — one in a rash of burglaries that has plagued the area in recent weeks.
On July 6, the suspect, described as 30-40 years old with a thin build, entered through the back of the restaurant, Sushi X, at 47-15 Northern Blvd., got into the kitchen area and hauled off cases containing raw fish.
Overall crime in the 114th Precinct, which covers the neighborhood and parts of Long Island City, is up nearly 10 percent this year compared to last, fueled by an uptick in rape, break-ins and thefts.
There have been 241 burglaries in the precinct through July 8, compared to 213 over the same period last year, an increase of 13.1 percent, NYPD statistics showed.
Local council member and chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, Peter F. Vallone, Jr. was not surprised that the numbers had gone up and said the crime had increased in all five boroughs.
“We have less cops and more criminals on the streets,” he said.
The police force decreased from 41,000 in 2001 to 35,000, primarily due to the bad economy, said Vallone.
“Recently, there was a burglary three blocks from my house in the middle of the day. That’s how bold they get,” he said. “In Astoria, it’s burglaries. In other neighborhoods, other crimes go up.”
On June 15, two suspects broke into a home on 31st Avenue and 23rd Street about 1:15 a.m. and stole two bikes from the basement, cops said.
Both suspects are described as medium build with a beard and one of them is bald.
Then on July 7, two burglars tried to break into a house through a garage door on 75th Street in broad daylight, cops said.
The suspects fled the location in an unknown direction before taking any property, according to cops. No injuries were reported.
Police said one of the suspects in that case was 5-foot-8, weighting approximately 150 pounds, bald and bow-legged. He was last seen wearing a red T-shirt, dark jeans and dark sneakers.
The second suspect is 5-foot-6, weighing around 150 pounds, with white hair. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, light colored shorts and sandals.
Overall, the 114th Precinct saw 1,074 major crimes — defined as murder, rape, robbery, grand larceny, felony assault, auto theft and burglary — through July 8, compared to 980 during the same period last year, according to police data.
Aside from burglaries, there was also an increase in the number of murders, rapes and car theft.
There were six murders in the 114th Precinct this year, compared to four over the same period last year, an increase of 50 percent.
Rapes jumped from 16 last year, to 21 this year, an increase of 31 percent.
And 106 cars were stolen, compared with 93 last year, an increase of 14 percent.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.