BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Nassau County are trying to determine if four burglaries that happened within blocks of each other in one day are connected.
Fingerprint dust was still visible Friday on the back door where Sal Filliponi believes a burglar got into his Bethpage house where his mother was sleeping.
“Went up to my bedroom first, got some jewelry out of the bedroom,” he told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff.
His 62-year-old mother awoke startled to find the burglar feet from her bed. She was too upset to speak with CBS 2.
“She screamed at him and said ‘Get out of my house!’ Luckily, you know, he didn’t have a gun or anything, and he ran,” Filliponi said.
There were four home break-ins in Bethpage within about four hours Wednesday, all in a residential neighborhood where doors are decorated with Valentines and many are left unlocked.
“I usually leave the backdoor open and I go out and get firewood or something like that, and now each time I go in and out I lock the door,” said resident Frank Catalano.
The string of burglaries began at 2 p.m. Wednesday, with a knock on the door of an 84-year-old man. The person at the door introduced himself as a new neighbor and the elderly man invited him in. When he left, the homeowner was out jewelry and money.
Police call that a distraction burglary. The man posing as a new neighbor probably had an accomplice.
There have been 10 burglaries in Nassau this winter, but this latest spree shows no pattern. Two of the homes hit this week were unoccupied when burglars pried opened windows.
Police have only a vague description of a suspect, and neighbors are watching out for each other and themselves.
“Don’t let anybody in your house that doesn’t belong in your house,” resident Audrey Dalto said.
That’s the warning from police as well: know who you are letting into your house.
Police said the suspect who robbed the elderly man may have been driving a car with New Jersey plates.
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