NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Alarm systems and surveillance cameras have been unable to stop burglars from hitting homes in Todt Hill and other Staten Island neighborhoods, including Dongan Hills, Grasmere and Emerson Hill.
At least six houses in the area were broken into and had jewelry stolen after burglars disabled security systems.
“It’s a high concern. We have children, and it’s pretty scary,” one resident told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
A law enforcement source told CBS 2 that the dismantling of the security measures was so sophisticated, police wonder if someone from a security company or a construction firm may have been involved.
“You have to look at that possibility that somebody that knows the system could possibly disable it,” security expert Michael Remini said, adding he hoped no one from his industry was involved.
For years Remini has recommended homeowners install tamper-resistant security technology, such as radio transmitters that work if the power is out or phone lines are down.
“Telephone lines can be cut that can disable the alarm, but if you do have radio backup, it’ll send a secondary signal which will defeat that,” he said.
In 2007, the same neighborhoods were terrorized by the so-called “ninja bandit.” Police were able to close that case when the prime suspect was deported to Albania.
Local residents feel they can’t get a break from the burglary threat.
“It’s frightening. You’re constantly looking around. This is a small community so we look out for each other and hopefully we won’t get targeted.”
The local civic association is also adding private patrols for added security.