Rash Of Bungalow Burglaries Brings Police Presence
That's how one resident attending the monthly 101 Precinct Community Council meeting on August 19 referred to the burglaries that have taken place since last December on Beach 24 Street down by the bungalows.
The executive officer of the precinct, Captain Matthew Hanrahan, listened as bungalow owners from Beach 24 to Beach 27 Streets repeated incidents of youths busting windows and breaking into homes.
Neighbors said they believe the homes are being watched.
"They seem to know when people are not home. When people are going away," said one resident. "They know what cars you drive. When everybody leaves for work, and when you come home."
Neighbors say the burglars use younger kids to break into the bungalows.
"The older guys are standing outside. They're peeping around the corner. The kids come to tell them the door's open, and they go in," said one resident.
One resident said that a woman on the block saw kids who "broke a window down at the end of the block at 151," and broke into the home.
"What [we're] asking for is more of a police presence," said one another woman. "If you come through that block a little more, if they see that the police cars are there, that will deter just by the sight of the police cars cruising up and down. That's one of the problems - they're not coming through.
"They're going up Seagirt [Boulevard] but they're not going in and out of those blocks - because they're deadend blocks - I don't know what the problem is. But, if you have 13 [burglaries] since December, and some of those aren't even being reported, for the people living there that's almost one a week. That's a crime wave for the people living there."
Les Paultre, the president of the Rockaway Beachside Neighborhood Association, who lives in the affected area, questioned the captain about bike patrols.
"We're being bombarded now with robberies," said Paultre. "There's no police presence at all."
Paultre said a police presence is needed from Beach 24 to Beach 30 Streets.
"Because right now, it's like, you have homeowners going to work and their houses are being burglarized."
While the break-ins occur during work hours, neighbors say the most common time is between 9 and 11 a.m.
Hanrahan promised an immediate response to the problem by adding car patrols and checking into using bikes patrols. Currently the bike patrols are assigned to the business district and housing projects such as Redfern Houses.
According to Paultre, with whom The Wave spoke on August 25, the police presence has increased.
"I've seen [some cars] riding through," said Paultre. "Not as much as we'd like."