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Transient Criminals Commonly Known as ‘Gypsies’ Burglarizing Homeowners

The Nassau County Police Department reports that a particular group of organized transient criminals commonly known as “gypsies” are perpetrating a series of burglaries and scams throughout Nassau County. The “modus operendi” of these mostly Eastern Europeans is to drive in groups in a particular residential area in a car or van usually with out-of-state registration plates. One subject portraying a surveyor or a contractor approaches the homeowners, at their residences. While engaging in distracting conversation, the subject diverts the homeowners into their rear yards providing a means for an accomplice(s) to surreptitiously enter the home and commit a burglary.

In light of this information, The Garden City Police Department would like to offer the following burglary prevention tips: Trim overgrown shrubbery and trees where someone could be able to secrete themselves. Check exterior lighting; this includes the back and sides of the home. Check windows and door locks; make sure they are in working order. Keep all doors and windows locked when you are home, away or just in your back yard. Move and secure items that could be used to facilitate entry through ground floor windows. At night close your drapes, blinds and window treatments as a deterrent. If you have an alarm, use it at all times, especially setting it before retiring at night. Consider a panic alarm or a keeping a telephone near the bed. Leave an interior light on or use a timer. Leave a radio or television on when out of the house. Discontinue any deliveries while away on business or vacation. Inventory, photograph and have an appraisal conducted on valuable items. Lock valuables in a safe. Don’t leave valuables or cash in conspicuous places. When approaching or leaving your home, look for suspicious persons or vehicles. As a deterrent vary your routine. Do not enter your residence if you think someone may be inside. Notify the police immediately.

If you are home and a burglar confronts you... remain calm; comply with the burglars’ instructions. Remember, your life is more valuable than your property. Try to memorize a description of the subject. When the subject leaves, call the police by dialing 911.

In addition to these prevention tips, Garden City Police Commissioner Ernest J. Cipullo would also like to offer the following ways that citizens can help the police department: If your alarm or your neighbor’s alarm goes off, call the police. Call the police for suspicious noises or suspicious persons in your yard or a neighbor’s yard. If you think you see a suspicious person and or vehicle, call the police. Try to obtain good description of possible suspects as well as a good description of involved vehicles including plate numbers. Call the police when you observe activity at neighbors’ residences where you know they are away. If you see a neighbor’s door or window ajar, open or broken, call the police.

Police Commissioner Cipullo states “Residents should be very cautious when they are approached by a person or persons that state they are lost or that they are some type of contractor and appear to be very intent on either entering the residence or luring residents to their rear yard. These people may be scam artists that may have other people entering the residence to steal valuable items while the resident is distracted.”