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Stealing From Cars

Mayor calls for greater police presence in the village

Continuing an alarming increase in criminal activity in the Massapequa area, eleven vehicles in Massapequa Park and an additional four in Massapequa were entered and items taken from inside.

The thefts occurred between 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday Jan. 23 and 11 a.m. on Jan. 25, although based on the police report, most of the thefts occurred during the evening hours of Jan. 23 and the early morning hours of Jan. 24.

At a recent Massapequa Park Village Board meeting, prior to the these thefts, Sgt. Veverka of the Seventh Precinct warned that there has been an increase in this type of criminal activity in the area.  

He urged residents to keep their car doors locked to deter thieves, explaining that most thefts occur in vehicles that are left unlocked.

According to the police report, seven of the vehicles entered were unlocked.

“It’s so easily combated at your level,” Veverka told the audience at the meeting. “These are people walking up and down the street trying door handles. They’ll take anything from expensive electronics to small change.”

Five vehicles were entered on Ocean Avenue in Massapequa Park with a wallet, a camera, sunglasses, an EZ Pass, and money among the items pilfered.

Also in Massapequa Park, electronics were taken from a vehicle on Park Lane, money and personal papers from a vehicle on Broadway, a GPS was removed from a vehicle on Massachusetts Ave., a wallet and a pocketbook were removed from a vehicle on 1st Ave., an iPod was taken from a vehicle on Philadelphia Ave., and electronics were removed from a vehicle on East Lake Ave. On North Westwood Road in Massapequa, money was removed from two vehicles and a wallet was taken from another vehicle.

At the Village Board Meeting, Massapequa Park residents expressed concern about suspected drug dealers living in the area, near an elementary school, who were recently arrested. Veveraka said that while Seventh Precinct officers are doing everything they can, he also said that the police are understaffed.

Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna agreed, saying that he feels there are not enough police officers to keep watch over the community. He emphasized that his issue is not with the officers of the Seventh Precinct who he described as, “very good,” but said the problem is that there are not enough of them. The mayor has been lobbying for a greater police presence in the village, and has floated the prospect of Massapequa Park launching its own police force. He told the Massapequan Observer, that this latest string of thefts, further emphasizes the need for a greater police presence in the village.

For now, residents of Massapequa and Massapequa Park have to deal with the uncomfortable reality that they must keep their guard up.

“It really throws you because you never had to wary about keeping your door open,” said Massapequa Park resident John Carpenter, who lives on one of the blocks on which the theft occurred. “It’s kept me a little more alert that this haven of security has been altered.”