Written by Emily Cappiello Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00
Crime was top of mind at a recent meeting at the Levittown Property Owners Association (LPOA). The group hosted Officer Paul Lamonica and Inspector John Berry at the meeting and the two discussed recent crime in the area as well as gave tips to help prevent crime.
In Nassau County’s 2nd Precinct South, formerly the 8th Precinct, Lamonica reported that while residential robberies were down slightly from 2012, commercial robberies were up this year. “We had a problem with a few Asian businesses
getting broken into. People were breaking in and taking money out of the register and in some cases, they were leaving the tip jar out and people were going in to steal that. We explained to them that they shouldn’t keep the money out,” said Lamonica.
Lamonica also said that auto robberies are down year-over-year from 107 in 2012, to 82 in 2013. Stolen cars are also slightly down in 2013, standing at 12, while last year at this time, there were 16 stolen cars.
“The cops are out there and they are doing the right thing,” said Lamonica. He also explained that with the change in the precinct, Levittown has the same amount of cars on the street as well as more plain clothes officers, which has allowed for an increased police presence in the neighborhoods. “We assign the police to certain areas, so they know your neighborhoods as well as you do,” Lamonica said.
Lamonica warned those present that in order to stop crime, they would have to be pro-active and take steps to ensure their safety. He said that during daylight savings time, there is an increase in robberies because it gets darker earlier and many people are still at work. “’They drive by and think ‘If I can find two, three or four houses in a row with no lights on, I’ve hit the jackpot,’” he said.
He advised those that attended to put their lights on timers both inside and outside. In addition, he said to make sure that windows and doors are always locked, and Inspector Berry added that if you have an alarm, to make sure you use it,
only if you are running out for a few minutes. Another indicator is if garbage pails are left out all day. “If you have a neighbor down the street who is retired or someone who gets home early in the day, ask them if they wouldn’t mind bringing in your pails or strike a deal with them to do something in return,” he said. In addition, both officers spoke about the importance of seeing something and saying something in order to combat area crime.
Phone scams are also on the rise in the area, Inspector Berry told the crowd. “We’ve been getting a lot of them lately,” Berry said. “If you can think of a scam, they got a new one the next day coming up.” Anything from the IRS claiming you owe back taxes from companies calling and saying your bill hasn’t been paid has been reported. Berry said to make sure you check your bills and see if the numbers they are calling from match. Lamonica added that if you are unsure, to ask the caller for all the information you need and then say that you don’t have everything you need and will call them back. “If they hang up or try to prevent you from calling them back, then that’s a red flag that it was probably a scam,” he said.