By Rebecca Henely
Astoria officials were telling their constituents to be aware and close their windows in light of the NYPD’s announcement that the authorities were searching for two individuals in connection with 11 burglaries in the neighborhood in recent weeks and another in June.
“It’s very disheartening to hear circumstances like that,” said state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria).
Police said they were looking for Eldin Ahmetovic, 33, and Yulia Bushuyeva, 32, for questioning about the burglaries, most of which occurred in November and December at residences between 30th and 34th avenues.
Ahmetovic is described as a white man with brown eyes and brown hair who is about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds, police said.
Bushuyeva is a white woman about 5-foot-6 and weighs about 130 pounds, police said. She has a tattoo on the right side of her neck that reads “Dino.”
The first incident in what police say is a burglary pattern took place June 23. The perpetrators broke into an apartment on 41st Street and 34th Avenue by entering through a window, police said. The next 11 robberies took place between Nov. 14 and Dec. 15. In all of them, the burglar entered through one of the doors or windows.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) put an alert about the burglaries on his Facebook page.
“I’ve many times in the past told people not to leave their windows open, especially if there are fire escapes involved,” Vallone said.
He said he suspected the perpetrators of the crime were career criminals who had been recently released.
“It’s why long jail sentences work and it’s something we have to get back to,” he said.
Simotas said Astoria was a safe, family-oriented community, but pointed out that sometimes incidences like these happen around the holidays. She said Astoria needs more police protection.
“It’s something that’s unfortunate,” Simotas said. “We lost a lot of cops in this community.”
The NYPD reported the 114th Precinct, which covers Astoria — including the Dutch Kills community and the Queensbridge and Ravenswood Houses — had 428 burglaries this year as of Dec. 11. At the same time in 2010, 463 burglaries were reported in the neighborhood.
Burglaries have been on a steady decline throughout the last 20 years, according to police statistics. In 2010, 483 burglaries were reported overall in the 114th Precinct compared to 855 in 2001. In 1990, the area recorded 2,631 burglaries.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.