Thieves Have Been Taking Copper Pipe From Newly Rebuilt Homes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Police have increased their presence in New York City neighborhoods still struggling with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

The Staten Island Advance says break-ins left some residents on the island so frustrated and angry that they’d talked of setting booby traps and administering vigilante justice.

In at least eight houses, thieves cut out recently-installed copper piping. That caused flooding in homes that were just a few weeks away from becoming habitable again.

“Every burglary’s bad, but it was almost worse in a sense, because it wasn’t like the house was still awaiting to be fixed up and at stage zero. They were like 80 percent, almost fixed,” NYPD Deputy Inspector Joseph Veneziano said at a recent Ocean Breeze Civic Association, according to the newspaper.

Police made several quick arrests. But they’re not taking any chances.

Ten patrol cars are being dedicated around the borough’s east shore.

Veneziano said the patrols will focus on areas where some houses still remain vacant. They include Ocean Breeze, Midland Beach and part of Oakwood.

In the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 29 storm, looters hit some of the most devastated neighborhoods, pilfering what they could from the empty homes and businesses.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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