2009-06-05 / Top Stories

Car Break-ins Worry East End Residents

By Miriam Rosenberg

Complaints ranging from broken windshields to stolen property and expensive repairs took center stage at a community meeting held at the 101 Precinct house earlier this month.

During the 101 Precinct Community Council meeting held on May 20, east end residents peppered officers with complaints of recent car break-ins and requests for additional patrols to protect their vehicles.

"Not too long ago someone broke 10 car windows on Seagirt Boulevard. My car happens to be one of them," said a resident of Ocean Park Apartments on Beach 17 Street. "Then several weeks later my car was vandalized again."

She asked for increased patrols against the vandalism, which she called an "ongoing problem" that has gotten "out of control."

"People in my building are going to start a petition and bring it to the precinct because we want more cars out there in the middle of the night. Cars are getting hit. Cars are getting vandalized on the east end of Seagirt Boulevard," she said.

The problem is not unique to people living on Beach 17 Street, as officers heard similar complaints about incidents in downtown Far Rockaway, Bayswater and Ocean Bay Apartments in Arverne.

Three weeks prior to the meeting a van was vandalized in the parking lot of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church on New Haven Avenue in Far Rockaway. On May 20 numerous cars were broken into on Healy Avenue in Bayswater. The previous Sunday, several cars were broken into on Hicksville Road in Far Rockaway. Said one woman about the St. Mary's break-in, "They took everything. All his seats were out. Everything. It was a brand new van."

Connie Taylor of Ocean Bay Apartments said, "We had it last week, too, on the windshields. Windshields cost a lot of money."

While the case is with the detective squad, Lt. Jason Schleyer of special ops at the precinct tried his best to address the concerns.

"I can't speak for their investigation," said Schleyer, who said he would speak to the detectives investigating the cases. "Unless we catch them in the act - [even though] you may know who's doing it - there's DNA, there's fingerprints, there's a lot of routes we can go, there's videotape - it's a quick crime. All it takes is they see what they want in the car, they smash the window, they reach and grab and they walk away."

As for additional patrols he added, "We try our best to shift patrols, especially my units. They vary tours and days. We try to address as many things as we can."

The investigation into the break-ins is ongoing.

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