NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island met with concerned residents Wednesday night in the wake of a series of burglaries that occurred in the past year.
Nassau County Police Lt. Kevin Smith said most of the crimes in Glen Head, Glenwood Landing and Sea Cliff involved the theft of jewelry and cash. He also added that most have been committed during the day.
“What people do sometimes is they leave their house for brief periods of time and they don’t engage their alarms, so that’s something we need people to do,” Lt. Smith told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall with Police Lt. Kevin Smith
When Robin Appel returned home to a chilly house last month, she knew she had had uninvited visitors.
“They came in through the back window,” Appel told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey. “They didn’t break it – they just kept jimmying it until they got the back window open.”
Burglars ransacked the bedroom, taking any valuables they could find.
“They took jewelry, they took money,” Appel said.
There’s still fingerprint residue on the door of Susan and David Wiedmer’s home after they were burglarized during the day on New Year’s Eve.
“Mostly gold, jewelry and stuff – they didn’t touch any cameras, they didn’t touch anything other than that,” David Wiedmer said.
The burglars have, however, touched a nerve among homeowners in the hamlets of Sea Cliff, Glenwood Landing and Glen Head, with 21 burglaries in the past 12 months and no arrests.
Nearly 400 residents packed an auditorium, demanding action from police.
“We’re asking you, please deliver,” one resident said. “It’s been 12 months, 21 burglaries, and families don’t feel safe.”
Residents were frustrated by the common sense prevention tips offered by police, as well as the lack of specifics about possible suspects.
“I don’t know if they’re African American, white, I don’t know if they’re Spanish,” Glenwood resident Dan McAre said. “I don’t know who they are.”
Neither do the police, it turns out, as they said the burglars keep changing their tactics.
“We have possibly a white fan, we have possibly people who appeared young, we have someone who was texting in front of a house,” Lt. Smith said. “So that’s really not concrete information yet.”
What is concrete is the sense of security that’s been ripped away from residents, along with valuables that can’t be replaced.
“I happened to have my wedding ring in the jewelry box; I happened to have my grandmother’s wedding ring,” Susan Wiedmer said. “Those are very sentimental pieces to me that I have lost.”
Drug addictions have been cited as a major cause of various break-ins. Smith pointed out that “there haven’t been any lately,” possibly due to increased scrutiny on finding the suspects.
Authorities stressed that if members of the community see something suspicious, they should not wait to call 911 immediately.
“If you see somebody walking down the street and paying particular attention to a house, or looking down a driveway, call us up. That is suspicious,” Lt. Smith said.