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Worried Residents Flock to Meeting to Discuss Robberies

Residents flocked to the Clinton Martin Park meeting hall last Sunday because of their concern regarding the rash of burglaries in the New Hyde Park affluent area of Manhasset Hills, most particularly on Knolls Drive.

Dr. Binod Verma, a resident, with a dental practice in Queens, organized the meeting and reached out to elected officials and police to attend the very informative meeting.

Dr. Verma opened the meeting with a welcome message and then turned the meeting over to former inspector of the 3rd Precinct, who is now the Nassau County Chief of Patrol Robert Turk.

He explained that since the rash of burglaries in the area several new technologies have been installed, one being “plate detectors.” This is a new technology that reads every license plate that enters the area and puts it in a database so they can then track anyone who is not from the neighborhood, in the area. He said that in four days 17,000 plates have been registered. Plus, if any car is a stolen vehicle, that will be traced as well.

Further, he said that surveillance cameras have been installed in various areas and there are a number of plainclothes detectives in unmarked cars in the area as well. The department has also dispatched K-9 officers in the area as well as their aviation detail of helicopters with infrared detectors.

Turk then turned the meeting over to 3rd Precinct Commanding Officer Kevin Canavan who strongly urged that the community come together and form a Neighborhood Watch with block captains.

It was also pointed out that, in one case in particular, the alarm was on in the house and the burglars entered anyway. The burglars took what they wanted and exited prior to the police arriving.

However, one resident did see one of the burglars and was able to help the police with a composite drawing and with it was flier stating:

“Nassau County Crime Stoppers and the Nassau County Police Department are seeking the public’s help in identifying the above subject who committed a residential burglary on Knolls Drive in North New Hyde Park. The crime occurred on Oct. 17, 2009. During the incident, the victim’s relatives arrived to check the house when the burglar alarm went off. Upon entering the house they observed the male subject pictured above. The above subject then fled the house on foot.

“There have been numerous burglaries in this particular area of the Third precinct. There are no known vehicles involved at this time. Anyone who can identify the person in the composite they are urged to call 1-800-244-TIPS.”

Inspector Canavan said that some things that residents can do are to make sure both your back door and front doors are locked and that all your windows are locked.

Further, he said that this gang goes directly to the master bedroom for jewelry. He urged all residents to hide their jewelry in a place that is not as obvious as the bedroom.

Set your alarm before going to bed and if possible have motion light sensors in the backyard and in the driveway. Further, have a timer so a light will go on when it is dusk and you are not at home.

He also cautioned residents on going into a house.

Then Inspector Canavan opened the floor and many of the residents related the stories they had about being burglarized. One woman said she was in the house when she heard the alarm and her back sliding door was opened and she quickly exited the house through the front door.

Inspector Canavan praised her said that was exactly the right thing to do. Get out of the house and call 911.

Another resident said that many years ago she, too, had been burglarized at gunpoint in the same neighborhood.

The one point that Inspector Canavan made was that they feel this is a gang and that they are bold and brazen and no resident is to be in any way, shape or form confrontational. Rather, they are to immediately call 911.

He stressed that fact over and over again. Residents are not to call the precinct directly, but to call 911; and the 911 operator will immediately put the call through to the sector precinct car in the area so they can respond to the location.

He further said that anyone who sees someone or something that seems out of the ordinary, to please call 911. He said, “We will solve this problem if we work as a team.”