Inspector John Berry and Officer Paul Lamonica of the Nassau County Police Department visited the Levittown property owners meeting Tuesday night to give a crime update and discuss ways residents can prevent burglaries.
During this time of the year, the risk of burglaries increase because it gets darker out earlier, and the time in which homes are most at risk is 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Berry said.
"You are working or at school,
and they are driving around your neighborhood looking to see who’s home," Lamonica said. "'If I
can find two, three or four houses in a row with no lights on, I’ve hit the
jackpot.' They would look for a
sliding door in the back and go straight for the bedroom."
The officers gave residents some simple tips to prevent burglaries. The tips included making your home appear as if it occupied, using timers for lights and televisions to change patterns inside your home, arranging to have your lawn mowed in the evening, and getting a home alarm system.
Second Precinct Crime Stats for 2013
In 2012, there were 34 burglaries at this point in time, while there have been 32 so far this year, Lamonica said. In "other" burglaries, which includes businesses, last year's total at this point in time was six, and this year's total is 14.
The rise in that number has been primarily due to a string of crimes at Asian restaurants. On Oct. 23, the Asian Cafe in Levittown was robbed, and on Oct. 18, an attempted robbery occurred at China Wok.
"The problem has been Asian businesses getting broken into – a lot of restaurant owners would leave money in the register, or they’d actually leave register open or up, someone would come pop the lock and come in," Lamonica said.
"We spoke to the
owners and said not to keep the money out - the tip jar. They would actually leave it out all night," he said. "So, that’s why
that number is a little elevated this year.”
Total arrests last year were 514, compared to this year's total of 466. Auto related crime last year was 107, and this year, that number is 82.
“When you go home at night, lock your car doors and don’t leave your valuables in the car," Lamonica said.
Delayed Response to Car Accident Explained
The officers responded to a residents mention of an article published in a local newspaper, which said that the police took an hour and 37 minutes to respond to a recent car accident in the Second Precinct.
The article appeared to make a connection to the merger of the Eighth and Second Precinct as a reason for the delayed response, Berry said. However, Berry said that this wasn't the reason for the delay.
Berry explained that there was 14 calls that happened during that time and said the department had to prioritize those calls.
"If you have an aided case
where you fell down the stairs, and we have someone who wants a report, you
want to come to the person who is potentially hurt, versus taking someone’s
report," Berry said.
The precinct has the same amount of cars now as they had before the merger, he said. Berry also responded to a residents comment that they believe there is less police presence in the neighborhood since the merger.
“We actually have more plain clothes people than we did in the past, and you may not see those because of that,” Berry said.
Walmart Market 'Project 21' Arrest
The officers also explained how they arrested an employee at Walmart Market for selling alcohol to a minor.
Kids tend to hang out at a park behind Walmart after dark and police had known about a problem with kids drinking at the park, Berry said.
"The kids we spoke to after we wrote appearance tickets earlier in the summer, they said they bought it at Walmart," he said. "We went to Walmart, we sent two agents there one of them bought beer."