A horrifying uptick in burglaries has residents of one of the borough’s safest neighborhoods living in fear.
During a 28-day period starting on Sept. 5, crooks broke into 39 residences in Bay Ridge — an increase of more than 60 percent compared to the same four-week periods in 2007 and 2006, when there were 24 and 21 burglaries respectively.
The majority of the burglaries occurred between 65th and 86th streets and Fourth and Seventh avenues, said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, at an Oct. 16 town hall meeting on crime.
“Most of the burglaries are rear window and they are very difficult to police,” said Rodriguez, who noted that in all but three break-ins, the crooks got in from the back of the home.
“These guys push the screen right in and go in the house…they are targeting jewelry cash and electronics,” he added.
Despite harsh criticism from concerned Ridgites — including a woman who claimed to keep a baseball bat in each room of her home for protection — Rodriguez insisted that police are combating the burglaries. Officers nabbed seven suspected burglars last week, including three alleged thieves who were trying to snatch computers from a school, he said.
“You’re going to see a lot of police in the neighborhood,” Rodriguez told the crowd of about 200 that gathered at Our Lady of Angels on 74th Street near Fourth Avenue.
But that comment only riled up worried Bay Ridge residents, who claimed that police response has been lethargic.
“Up until that meeting, the police were really lax here and things have gotten terrible,” said Brian, a 72nd Street resident, who is concerned about his wife and his children’s safety.
“It’s really getting out of control here,” added Janice Shiavo, who lives on 73rd Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues. “It’s never been this bad here. Any time I hear a sound, I’m worried.”
©2008 Community News Group
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