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Queens Residents Fighting Back Against Tandem Robbery Teams

Fast-Moving Thieves Hit Hard, Escape Fast, Using Area Expressways
(credit: CBS 2 via surveillance video)

(credit: CBS 2 via surveillance video)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Not one, but multiple burglary teams may be on the prowl in Queens.

Dozens of homes have already been hit and concerned neighbors have decided to take action.

You can have the fanciest surveillance, even catch your crook on candid camera, but that’s not enough to stop burglary rings currently running amok in Queens.

1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reports

Thieves grabbed $40,000 worth of property from a home on 52nd Avenue in Little Neck, They even rang the bell to make sure nobody was home, police said.

“While the one party was ringing the bell, other people were coming in the back yard and checking to see if anyone else was inside,” the victim told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan.

In Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck, there were 41 burglaries in November, up from 17 last year. And there were 10 more just last week.

Crooks took mostly cash, jewelry, but also baggage and handbags. Now neighborhoods are fighting back, forming block watches.

“It could be a combination of things, looking at blocks, driving up and down and doing anything and everything they possibly can,” said Jerry Iannece, of Community Board 11.

And some are willing to pay for additional help.

“They are trying to get organized so they can hire probably a security company to take action,” said Peter Rigas of Little Neck.

Burglars in the area are attracted to big homes and fast getaways, provided by the nearby Long Island Expressway, Cross Island Parkway and Clearview Expressway.

Police are fighting back, bringing in anti-crime units. They said they made seven burglary arrests last week and four guys were caught in the act. If all that hi-tech security fails, some turn to man’s best friend.

“I’m contemplating getting a dog right now — I’m looking at those Russian Ovcharkas. They’re like 500 pounds,” one victim said. “Next time someone comes in my yard, they’ll have a nice surprise.”

Authorities said in addition to security systems, homeowners should keep the front and backs of homes well-lit.

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