ORANGEBURG, N.Y. (CBS 2) – Police say a gang of thieves that first operated in New Jersey has moved into New York, kicking down front doors before robbing homes in a flash.
They ring the doorbell, peek through the windows, and if the coast is clear, they kick in the front door.
“They splintered this whole piece right here,” the victim said.
The homeowner said his door was kicked in this week, with the burglars stealing jewelry and two registered firearms. It was the 10th so-called “kick-in robbery” in the last year in Rockland County.
“It’s a terrible thing, it’s a terrible thing,” he said. “We’ve got to revamp our alarm system and get another gun.”
The burglaries are happening in pricy subdivisions in Orangeburg and Blauvelt.
Police say a group of thieves are bypassing flat screen televisions, computers and other electronics. Instead, they’re heading straight down the basement steps for the alarm box and cutting the wires before ransacking the houses – in a matter of minutes – when no one’s home.
“Mostly jewelry, they take it, and I would assume melt it down,” Sgt. George Garrecht, of the Orangetown Police Department, said. “I don’t know what the ounces are going for now, but jewelry seems to be the big thing.”
“We would like it solved, basically,” Orangeburg resident Adrianna Rowatti said.
Rowatti was in such a panic that she organized a community meeting with police to find out what’s being done, especially now that two guns are gone.
“If the homeowner came back, what if they would have used the gun on the homeowner?” she said.
Fear has set in for neighbors and homeowners are being particularly vigilant, with some adding outside cameras and wireless alarms operated by cell phone.
“Hopefully that will help, but still, it’s a violation, it’s scary,” Orangeburg resident Bella Svensson said.
No one’s actually seen the thieves, and police have no descriptions – just a string of busted front doors shattering the peace.
Police say uncollected mail and dark, empty houses at night attract thieves. They’re asking homeowners to take extra precautions until an arrest is made.
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