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The 109th Precinct is urging residents to lock their homes and garages after a series of break-ins where thieves crawled through windows and broke into garages in the area.
“There should be plenty of lighting in the front and back of houses,” said Officer Anthony LoVerme, crime prevention officer at the precinct, who urged residents to not only install alarm systems, but also put up a sign indicating the house is protected.
“These guys usually go around and look at the homes that don’t have an alarm,” he said.
On Aug. 2 in Whitestone, for example, a thief forced open a kitchen window sometime between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. at a home near the corner of 149th Street and 21st Avenue, police said. The 43-year-old man who lived there later discovered three watches and a gold chain bracelet worth a total of about $51,000 stolen, according to police.
On Aug. 13, a 22-year-old-woman was in her bedroom along Byrd Street in Flushing at about 3:15 a.m. when she woke up to a noise and discovered the screen to her room’s window missing, cops said.
The burglar had used a ladder to climb into the second-story window before swiping credit cards and a couple of dollars, then fled, police said.
On Sept. 2, a 77-year-old woman asleep in her bedroom woke up between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and heard someone walking in the hallway of her home near the corner of 146th Street and 25th Road in Whitestone, according to cops.
She dialed 911 and officers later discovered the back window leading to the basement was missing — along with her purse and $400, police said.
On the same block that night, a 55-year-old woman left her house at 2:15 a.m. to stay with a friend. When she returned the next afternoon, she discovered her rear windows broken and a pearl necklace, pearl ring and a Louis Vuitton bag worth $3,900 in total gone, according to cops.
The precinct has also been having a rash of bike thefts, according to LoVerme. The cycles are being stolen from backyards along with garages and sheds, which in many cases were not locked.
“The thieves look for every opportunity, so leaving your garage unlocked is an open invitation,” he said.
A Queensboro Hill homeowner went on vacation July 21 and left his garage unlocked. When he returned to his abode near the corner of 59th Avenue and 161st Street Aug. 4, his black Cannondale bike was gone, according to cops.
On Aug. 6 near the corner of 35th Avenue and 161st Street in Broadway-Flushing, two bikes worth a total of $500 were stolen from a garage with a broken door, police said.
That same day a man left his home near the corner of 157th Street and 25th Avenue in North Flushing with three bikes stored in his backyard shed. When he returned two days later, the cycles worth $1,100 had been stolen.
In response, the 109th Precinct is urging bikers to register their cycles’ serial numbers with the NYPD. That way, if a bike is stolen and the police recover it, the two-wheeler can be returned to its owner.
Police are partnering with the College Point Civic Association Sept. 22 to host a bicycle registration event. At the event residents can also get their Vehicle Identification Number etched into various car parts, which can be traced should anything be stolen.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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