The 106th Precinct reported that yet another home in Howard Beach has been burglarized. The number of unsolved burglaries now stands at 13, the latest crime occurring on Sunday, February 17.
Officer Craig Potter made the announcement at the latest meeting of the Howard Beach Civic forum. The precinct, however, is still not any closer to finding out who is responsible for the rash of burglaries that started last December. Potter would not get into specific details because of the ongoing investigation.
He did, however, say that only with the continued assistance of the community could significant progress be made.
“We are trying our best, but we can’t do this by ourselves. We need your eyes and ears. You are the neighbors.”
The burglars are targeting homes that are unalarmed, have no security or camera systems, and have poor or no lighting on their property.
“If you don’t have a security system, this is something that they are looking at,” Potter said. The preferred method of entry has been through back doors and windows.
Potter reminded those in attendance to always make sure everything is locked when leaving the home and advised looking into the installation of lights in backyards.
“One of the easiest things to do is put lighting in your backyard with a motion sensor. Someone walks back there, the light goes off,” Potter said. “Maybe one of your neighbors might see them or maybe that neighbor next door with the big, fancy house that has 10 cameras may pick something up.
Maryann Butere bought an alarm after she was burglarized many years ago.
“I’ve been through it before and it’s not the things that they take, even though some things can’t be replaced, but it’s that they invaded my space,” she said. “I don’t want that to happen to me again.”
The 106th has stepped up patrols in the area and in the process has issued numerous criminal summonses for illegal activity and have made five narcotics arrests. The burglary and anti-crime teams have flooded the neighborhood with plainclothes cops and unmarked cars in an effort to find the elusive thieves who are targeting unsecure homes. They have been stopping anyone who looks suspicious or looks out of place in the neighborhood. Their information is written down and given to the detective squad who do background checks.
“I might have just stopped someone who is a wanted burglar or rapist and there goes someone off the street,” Potter said.
Potter knows that eventually the thieves will slip up. “Only time will tell, they are going to get greedy and they are going to stumble.”
Other points of interest addressed at the meeting:
*Potter could not comment on the recent murder of retired Sergeant Raymond Sheehan, allegedly by his wife Barbara, because of the current ongoing investigation.