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Letter: Criminal Activity in the Village

(Editor’s note: due to The Westbury Times’ production schedule, information from the Oct. 24 special meeting regarding criminal activity within the village will be published in next week’s issue.)

I wanted to update residents on the concerns expressed regarding matters pertaining to police protection and criminal activity in and around the village.

We have had numerous conversations over the past week with the NCPD, including with the Deputy Inspector of the Third Precinct regarding our concerns. They have issued bulletins on the suspect vehicles and continue to seek to engage them. The police are continuing to pursue and investigate the furtive activities described, and feel that this is probably a “gypsy operation” whereby these individuals attempt to fraudulently “sell” illusory products and then leave with any money given in payment, without providing the service. However, they are also considering the possibility that this is a casing operation, and are treating it as such. Newsday has run a short item today that highlights these concerns, and we are hopeful that the raised community attention, and media coverage will cause them to move on.

The robbery on Post Avenue last week appears at this time to be unrelated to the suspect vehicles, etc. This is still under investigation.

Westbury code enforcement personnel are continuing to increase presence in the neighborhoods during their work hours (which includes nights and weekends).

I urge all residents that it is important to remain vigilant, but that it is also important that they not overreact or overreport to the police unless there is suspicious activity that is observed. We do to want the NCPD to discount any future reports that it receives from the community, and we don’t want to be perceived as “crying wolf.”  Residents should continue to report suspicious activity (which may be simply a car or persons lingering in an area). Please use good judgment in this regard.

The precinct is very much aware of our concerns, and residents should continue to report questionable conduct that they see. We continue to talk to the precinct and they will advise us as anything develops.

As I said, I am hopeful that the raised attention, and media coverage of this, will cause them to move on.

Peter Cavallaro
Village of Westbury Mayor