Written by Ron Scaglia Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
Following a series catalytic converter burglaries at several Nassau County LIRR stations, car thieves may be targeting not only what’s inside your car but also what’s underneath it.
On Jan. 11, the catalytic converter was stolen from a 2005 Toyota Sequoia that was parked at the Long Island Rail Road Massapequa Train Station, the fourth instance at the station since June and the second over a three-day interval.
According to Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, a similar incident was reported at the Westbury LIRR station a few weeks ago.
“We had a conversation with our precinct. You can just crawl underneath the rear of the car and wrench it off. It’s not like you have to open up the hood or anything like that,” said Cavallaro.
These thefts continue an unsettling pattern in the local area. Five cars that were parked at the Wantagh station between July and December had the catalytic converters stolen, as did a Hyundai Sonata that was parked at the LIRR station in Seaford recently.
Sgt. Veverka, of the Seventh Precinct, explained that these incidents in Massapequa have occurred during the day. The law enforcement official stated that thieves are targeting catalytic converters because they are quite valuable.
“These are worth thousands of dollars in the scrap yards, “ Sgt. Veverka commented.
According to a Seventh Precinct flyer, catalytic converters are stolen and the platinum is extracted, refined and then sold for over $1,400 per ounce. The most popular targets are late 1900s and early 2000 Toyota SUVs. The four vehicles targeted in Massapequa were a 2002 Toyota Sequoia, a 2005 Toyota Sequoia, a 2007 Toyota Sequoia and a 2007 Suburban.
After Toyota, other vehicles targeted are Hyundais, Nissans and Kias. Of the nine catalytic converter thefts in Seaford, Wantagh and Massapequa, six involved Toyotas, three have been Hyundais and one was a Mitsubishi. SUVs are popular targets because of their accessibility to the undercarriage.
While Toyotas are the most frequent target, the police warn that any vehicle built after 1975 is a potential target and that there is an overall upward trend in these types of thefts across Nassau County.
Veverka also added that there has been an increase in the larceny of items left in automobiles. However, unlike the catalytic converter thefts, which vehicle owners can do little to deter, the sergeant explained that this type of crime can be prevented with just a little bit of effort from vehicle owners.
“What’s senseless about this, it’s so easily combated at your level,” Veverka told the audience. “Ninety-nine percent of the cars where stuff is taken are from cars that are unlocked. One percent is broken windows. These are people walking up and down the street trying door handles. They’ll take anything from expensive electronics to small change.”
On anther note, the sergeant also warned that there has been an increase in the attempt of phone scams throughout Nassau County. He explained that these are instances in which a caller tries to con an unsuspecting target into sending money. For example, he explained that an unsuspecting individual might get a phone call saying that a relative is drunk and has just been in an accident. The scammer would continue that the caller would forget about the incident and not have the relative prosecuted, if he or she is sent money.
“We’re averaging about 10 of these a month,” he stated.
Regarding home invasions, Veverka urged residents to remain vigilant and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
“Our biggest help is you – our eyes and ears,” he told those in attendance. “Call 911.”
Friday, 24 May 2013 00:00
Doug Ingram was recently named the new chief of the Westbury Fire Department.
Ingram grew up in Old Westbury and graduated from Westbury High School in 1974. After graduating, he joined the Navy where he spent two years stationed in Italy. When he was honorably discharged in 1979, he joined the Westbury fire department and has been involved there ever since.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
In what is hoped to be a step forward for the Westbury School District’s ongoing search for a superintendent, the board of education voted to terminate its contract with search firm Hazard, Young, Attea. However, questions still remain. Will the board continue the search with another firm? Will the board conduct the search themselves? Will it consider current Interim Superintendent Mary Lagnado for the position? And of course, how long will the process take before a permanent superintendent is named?
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Avenging the previous day’s loss and moving themselves one step closer to a possible county title, the Carle Place Frogs Softball team beat out the Locust Valley Falcons Wednesday, May 15 in a game two rematch for the Nassau County Class B Semi-Final, 12-3.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.