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Residential Burglaries On The Rise In Second Precinct

Home break-ins up 54 percent from last year

According to Nassau County’s Second Precinct, residential burglaries have increased 54.65 percent in a year-to-date (YTD) comparison.

From Dec. 28, 2010 to May 9, 2011, the Second Precinct, which is absorbing the Eighth Precinct as part of the county’s consolidation initiative, reported 86 YTD residential burglaries. From Dec. 27, 2011 to May 7, 2012, the Second Precinct reported a total of 133 YTD residential burglaries.

“These break-ins have been residential and two of them have been while people were home. It’s pretty frightening,” said Alice Hollander, a Hicksville resident and Neighborhood Watch representative.

Hollander explained that the Hicksville Neighborhood Watch formed several years ago in response to various crimes in the area, but she believes the down economy is one of the reasons behind the recent string of home burglaries.

“We’ve had this group for many years when we had a problem with graffiti and people stealing cars out of driveways. Things have quieted down, but everything with the economy the way it is, things are changing,” Hollander said.

The Nassau County Police Department confirmed that on April 14, two homes in the Hicksville area were burglarized – one on Cliff Drive and another on Hunter Lane. Hollander believes that senior citizens may have been targeted in both incidents.

“It happened to a neighbor right across the street from me at about 11:30 at night. He broke a window at the side of her house but first I think he rung the bell and she’s hard of hearing. She might have been in bed already and didn’t come down, so he suspected the house was empty,” Hollander said, adding that the burglar fled the scene once the elderly woman saw him and screamed.

The Nassau County Police Department confirmed that since April 1, there have been 11 residential burglaries in Hicksville and two break-ins at local businesses in that time. Stolen vehicle crimes are up almost 80 percent in the YTD comparison, but non-residential burglaries have dropped 44 percent in that span, according to the Second Precinct.

“We have a system in place called NASS-STAT where the commanding officer of the precinct every month will meet with the bosses and determine if they need to be intensifying patrols and letting the public know if they see something to say something,” said a county police detective.

Throughout all of Nassau County (not including cities or villages with their own police departments), residential burglaries and stolen vehicles are up nearly 25 percent in the YTD comparison throughout the past two years. Still, residential burglaries were down significantly from 2009 and 2010 when there were 1063 home burglaries in the YTD figures, while there were 813 over the same period in 2011 and 2012.

According to Kevin Canavan, head of the Third Precinct – one of the county’s most active stations – burglars targeting residential areas normally look to avoid encounters with homeowners. Canavan noted that residents should always be vigilant in such instances but should not confront burglars in the event of a break-in. Calling 911, keeping homes and vehicles locked and communicating with neighbors can help deter residential burglaries, he added.

“There are things going on that weren’t going on for a long time. The more we are informed of what they’re doing or how they’re doing it better, it is for us to know how to protect ourselves and what to look out for,” Hollander said.

For more information, call the Second Precinct (7700 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury) at 573-6200.