Written by Ron Scaglia Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
Following a series catalytic converter burglaries at several Nassau County LIRR stations, car thieves may be targeting not only what’s inside your car but also what’s underneath it.
On Jan. 11, the catalytic converter was stolen from a 2005 Toyota Sequoia that was parked at the Long Island Rail Road Massapequa Train Station, the fourth instance at the station since June and the second over a three-day interval.
According to Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, a similar incident was reported at the Westbury LIRR station a few weeks ago.
“We had a conversation with our precinct. You can just crawl underneath the rear of the car and wrench it off. It’s not like you have to open up the hood or anything like that,” said Cavallaro.
These thefts continue an unsettling pattern in the local area. Five cars that were parked at the Wantagh station between July and December had the catalytic converters stolen, as did a Hyundai Sonata that was parked at the LIRR station in Seaford recently.
Sgt. Veverka, of the Seventh Precinct, explained that these incidents in Massapequa have occurred during the day. The law enforcement official stated that thieves are targeting catalytic converters because they are quite valuable.
“These are worth thousands of dollars in the scrap yards, “ Sgt. Veverka commented.
According to a Seventh Precinct flyer, catalytic converters are stolen and the platinum is extracted, refined and then sold for over $1,400 per ounce. The most popular targets are late 1900s and early 2000 Toyota SUVs. The four vehicles targeted in Massapequa were a 2002 Toyota Sequoia, a 2005 Toyota Sequoia, a 2007 Toyota Sequoia and a 2007 Suburban.
After Toyota, other vehicles targeted are Hyundais, Nissans and Kias. Of the nine catalytic converter thefts in Seaford, Wantagh and Massapequa, six involved Toyotas, three have been Hyundais and one was a Mitsubishi. SUVs are popular targets because of their accessibility to the undercarriage.
While Toyotas are the most frequent target, the police warn that any vehicle built after 1975 is a potential target and that there is an overall upward trend in these types of thefts across Nassau County.
Veverka also added that there has been an increase in the larceny of items left in automobiles. However, unlike the catalytic converter thefts, which vehicle owners can do little to deter, the sergeant explained that this type of crime can be prevented with just a little bit of effort from vehicle owners.
“What’s senseless about this, it’s so easily combated at your level,” Veverka told the audience. “Ninety-nine percent of the cars where stuff is taken are from cars that are unlocked. One percent is broken windows. These are people walking up and down the street trying door handles. They’ll take anything from expensive electronics to small change.”
On anther note, the sergeant also warned that there has been an increase in the attempt of phone scams throughout Nassau County. He explained that these are instances in which a caller tries to con an unsuspecting target into sending money. For example, he explained that an unsuspecting individual might get a phone call saying that a relative is drunk and has just been in an accident. The scammer would continue that the caller would forget about the incident and not have the relative prosecuted, if he or she is sent money.
“We’re averaging about 10 of these a month,” he stated.
Regarding home invasions, Veverka urged residents to remain vigilant and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
“Our biggest help is you – our eyes and ears,” he told those in attendance. “Call 911.”
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Once a week, Robert Blume goes to Virpa Convenience on Carman Ave. to buy breakfast and lottery tickets. When he bought his Mega Millions and Powerball tickets on Sunday, Oct. 20, it was just like any other day. But when he went in to Virpa to check his tickets later that week, life changed forever.
He won $7 with his Mega Millions ticket, and then ran his Powerball ticket through the ticket check. Instead of the usual reading of “Sorry You Are Not A Winner,” he saw a message that said ‘Big Winner. See Retailer.’
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
“Art is beautiful. It's all around us and makes you see the world in a different way. Anyone can learn to paint, it just takes time, but when you do, you never look at clouds the same way or water the same way or even at the beach the same way.” These are the words of Westbury’s own artist and teacher Laura Meshover. Her captivating oil paintings exhibit the very essence of photo realism.
“I always knew I wanted to be an artist even from way back at a young age,” explained Meshover. “I used to take painting lessons in my neighbor’s basement when I was a little girl. You can’t do that kind of stuff anymore,” she said with a laugh.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Congratulations to the Westbury boys varsity basketball team who defeated East Meadow High Schoool 57 to 51 to win the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament.
The tournament was dedicated to Coach Martin “Bunky” Reid and the 1985 state championship team. Before the finals of the tournament, a poster signed by many of the players from the 85’ team was presented to Mrs. Reid to honor her son.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The wrestling team at Westbury High School looks forward to a fresh start this season. Last year, they struggled to stay atop the Nassau Conference, but this time, the team has a lot of valuable pieces that are crucial for them to flip the script and potentially climb to the top of the standings.
One of the shining stars in the school’s team this year is the dominating Raeco Jackson. For the past two seasons, Jackson has had an extraordinary winning record in the 113 and 120 weight classes. “Last year, my record was 28-5 and the year before that it was 30-5,” he said. With a total record of 58 wins and 10 losses, he has won 85 percent of his matches. His impressive feat helped Jackson receive all-county honors last season.