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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Those who live in the Breezy Point section of Queens are picking through their burned out homes one more time, before the city takes a major step in the area’s recovery.
Mari Ellen Mack was moved to tears Friday after finding her late father’s framed NYPD badge in what’s left of her home.
“To think of my father right now, now that’s upsetting, but it’s crazy at the same time. It’s still intact,” Mack told CBS 2’s Wendy Gillette.
She said she’s trying to find anything she can before next week.
The city will bulldoze what’s left of the homes that burned after the New Year. That’s why Mack went to the home again to see if she could find any mementos.
And she did. Her dad was an undercover detective in the 1960s, infiltrating the mob.
“And it’s a book of what he was doing every day. Like I went to the racetrack and so and so was there. And they bet on this horse,” Mack said.
But while residents were sifting through memories, police said thieves have already been in the area, picking up scrap metal and parts of the boardwalk mixed in with the debris that they carted away to sell.
Police have arrested more than 10 people.
“Look around, like really? I mean come on. Have a little decency. You know? Have a little something left in you,” Mack said.
A couple of streets away, members of a church group from Lancaster, Pa., were helping with the cleanup and didn’t like hearing about trespassers taking anything away — no matter the value.
“That just makes me probably both angry and sad, that anyone would take advantage of anyone who’s already lost everything. That’s angering,” George May said.
They hope their goodwill can help overshadow the bad in a community that’s still standing proud, despite the incredible devastation.
The suspects are charged with improper removal of construction debris.
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