MINEOLA, NY (CBSNewYork) – The nice weather and men and women trying to get money to feed their prescription drug habits are two main reasons police in Nassau County said burglaries are up 70 percent from the beginning of last year.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story

“When you’re in a blizzard situation, not too many burglars are prone to go out in a blizzard and commit a burglary. When there is snow on the ground, we will, and we have, tracked burglars through the snow,” said Steven Skrynecki, chief of department for the Nassau County Police Department.

Using plain clothes officers constantly moving around the county, license plate readers, and cameras, authorities have made 77 burglary arrests in the past eight weeks.

One robbed a pharmacy in Carle Place. Two women robbed homes to feed their $300 a day prescription drug habits.

County Executive Ed Mangano appeared at a news conference with top police brass on Thursday.

“The police department has made it a top priority to apprehend these burglars,” he said.

Acting police commissioner Thomas Dale said, “We have been immediately redeploying our personnel to follow the bad guys.”

Home burglaries specifically were up 111 percent in the first six weeks of this year, compared to last.

The head of the PBA, for his part, said burglaries are up because the suspects know the county plans to close precincts, which he says means fewer officers on patrol.

“You’re sending a signal out here that you’re closing precincts and that you’ve given up,” said PBA president James Carver.

In addition to the arrests, Nassau County will launch a preventative measure by installing permanent prescription drug disposal bins at all eight police precincts. The bins will provide residents the ability to anonymously turn in their unwanted, unused and/or expired painkillers and other pharmaceuticals so that they can be properly destroyed.

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