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Police, Public Officials Meet to Address Ongoing Burglary Problems

Once again, the residents of Manhasset Hills and parts of the greater New Hyde Park area, met at Clinton Martin Park with members of the Third Precinct police and public officials to discuss the ongoing burglaries in their respective neighborhoods.

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman opened the meeting by saying, “These last several months we have had a great partnership with all layers of government including Nassau County, the town, police, district attorney’s office. “We have been in touch with our state and federal representatives because there is a concern about these economic times and the impact it has on communities when it comes to crime.  There are some good bits of news out there and the police have done some extraordinary things in this investigation that has been ongoing.”

The elected officials at the meeting included North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Councilwoman Lee Seeman, Councilman Angelo Ferrara, Councilman Thomas Dwyer, Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice along with Deputy Inspector of the Third Precinct Sean McCarthy and Sgt. Thomas Iannucci, of the Third Precinct.

Legislator Judi Bosworth thanked Supervisor Jon Kaiman for putting together a task force that has been meeting at least once a month to make sure the community is as safe as it can be.  She added, “This isn’t an issue that can be solved by having a few task force meetings or a few community meetings, it is an ongoing issue that we need to keep working to find out what we can do to stop it.”

North Hempstead Town Councilman Dwyer said, “I think what we found out in the task force that has been most powerful is the message that is going back to the community.  When we first came together there was a lack of information.  Now, I think there is information going out to the community. What we have tried to do in the town is put together a website that is interactive so that community members can interact with the town and the town is sending information out that is important in keeping your homes safe.  One of the things we did just a week or two ago, we had a TV show on North Hempstead TV Channel 18 and we were trying to get that information about how to keep your home safe.  It is important to call 911.  When you see someone that looks suspicious or a car going too slow in your neighborhood, call 911. They are there to serve you.”

Councilman Dwyer then introduced Third Precinct of Nassau County Deputy Inspector Sean McCarthy.  He said he had been at the meeting in November and he said he was glad to see that so many people were present. He said, “We have come a long way since November, but we still have a lot of work to do. Burglary is an intensive personal crime and we are all aware of that.  The marks of a crime like burglary linger with you long after the items have been replaced and the property secured.

“We appreciate that.  We all have families and we all have residences and we understand how important it is to feel secure in your own residence and that is the number one priority.  We have been instructed to conceive a countywide burglary strategy.  It is not just as problem for this area, it is a countywide problem that calls for a countywide solution.

“We recognized it was a problem before the November meeting and if there is a silver lining that came out of that it is that there was information that we wanted to get out to the community but we had very few points of official contact to disseminate information that was accurate.  The town and the county task force worked with the third precinct so that now information from the Third Precinct and the Sixth Precinct can be put on the Town of North Hempstead website.”

McCarthy said, that the burglars seemingly all come from the city.  He said what they have been able to find out is that they are the same group, probably a member of a gang. What they do is “borrow” a car.

  He stressed that they don’t steal it, but borrow it and it has to be a high-end car such as a Mercedes or a BMW so that it will fit into the neighborhood.  

He continued, “They park the car and run to the back door…pop the lock and quickly head for the bedroom where they empty any jewelry into their pockets and quickly make a retreat back to the car in a matter of minutes and they are on their way back into the city.”

At this point he stressed, strongly, that any and all jewelry should not be kept in the bedroom, but hidden in other areas that could not be found.

McCarthy said that they are finding out that the prime time for all of this is between 6 p.m. and midnight from Thursday night to Monday.

McCarthy said, “During the time period since Jan. 31, 2010 and the date of this meeting (April 7) there have been 31 burglaries in the Manhasset Hills section of New Hyde Park and in the greater New Hyde Park area. Many of those who have been invaded were at the meeting and wanted to know just what was being done to curb this rash of crime.”

McCarthy said that the area is equipped with plate readers, and what they do is anyone that comes into the area has his/her plate read and that plate is then researched for anyone who seemingly does not belong in the area or is foreign to the area.

McCarthy did stress, as has been stressed before, that the community itself are the real eyes of the community and he urged anyone who sees anything they don’t think is within the ordinary to please call 911.

He said that many people hesitate to call 911 to report incidents, but he said that is the only way they can alert a patrol car to go to the neighborhood to investigate anything that seems out of the ordinary.

Sgt. Iannucci said that he often follows cars that he feels are suspicious into the area, from the parkway, stops them and asks for identification.  He said that sometimes that might annoy residents, but he said it is a way that they can make sure everyone in the area belongs there or is there for a purpose.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said that when they finally do capture these burglars, she makes sure that they are put in jail since she said she views them as violent crimes.

Many, many residents in the area had questions on how to make their homes safer and one way Deputy Inspector McCarthy said is to trim back any foliage that might be hiding the front door and to install lights in the back of the home and to keep these on at night.  Further, make sure your home is locked and secured.

He also said to inform any neighbors that you will be away, so that they can perhaps watch your home for any suspicious activity.

He did stress over and over again as did Sgt. Iannucci to please do not hesitate to use 911 if you see something that is out of the ordinary in the neighborhood and at all times pay attention.  He said there are thousands of false alarms and that residents should not be concerned with them, but to just call 911 if anyone sees anything suspicious.