Don’t be taken in by burglars posing as utility workers

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By Bob Harris

The June 2013 Holliswood Civic Association Newsletter contained a security report by member Kurt Hoppe. He warns members that there seems to be three or four groups of burglars breaking into homes in Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates and Holliswood.

The 107th Precinct says these burglars break in through the rear of houses where there is less of a chance to be seen. The police warn people not to leave rear windows open or unchained ladders outside their property. The NYPD urges people to use sturdy locks on their windows.

People should be aware they must keep their house graffiti-free. They can receive a fine of several hundred dollars if they do not remove graffiti. Under the Graffiti Free NYC program, the city will arrange to have graffiti removed. You can also fill out a Forever Graffiti Free form.

If you want to report graffiti, call 311 or call Community Board 8 at 718-264-7895 or e-mail it at qn08@cb.nyc.gov. The report says unkempt property may incur city Sanitation Department fines from $100 to $300.

The June 2013 edition of the Bayside Hills Civic Association Beacon warns people of deception burglaries. These burglaries are committed by people who pose as employees of service companies. They make some excuse to gain entry. If someone comes to your door and you were not contacted in advance, do not let them in.

Keep a list of utility phone numbers in a convenient location. You can call 311 for water issues. Call Con Edison at 1-800-752-6633. If you feel unsafe, call 911. Never give out financial information, such as your Social Security number or credit card or bank account information.

The May 2013 edition of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association Newsletter alerted people to the large number of stolen laptops. The NYPD cautions people to never leave their laptops unattended, use a cable lock to secure it to your desk at home or in your dorm room, use a boot or startup password to protect your personal information, consider installing tracking software and register your laptop and have its serial number engraved on it by your local precinct crime prevention office, and do not use it on public transportation. Keep documentation of your purchase.

The civic wrote that New York is the No. 2 state in the country with the highest level of bullying and, according to a recent survey, 88 percent of social media-using teenagers say they have seen someone be mean or cruel to a person on a social network site.

To stop cyberbullying, people should report incidents to school officials, trusted adults and the police. The city Department of Education considers it illegal and has programs to stop it.

The June 2013 North Flushing Civic Association Newsletter reported that detectives from the 109th Precinct have captured a 16-year-old boy who is suspected in a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood. He had been entering houses while residents slept, police said.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: Two of the four proposals to build private commercial enterprises in Flushing Meadows Corona Park or near it are proceeding despite testimony against them.

The United States Tennis Association is being given more land on which to expand and the city is taking private property in the Iron Triangle, next to the park, to let private developers build and make a fortune.

In Istanbul, Turkey, the population demonstrated and rioted when the government tried to take Taksim Square and build commercial property on it. The government backed off.

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