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Howard Beach Residents ‘Going Crazy’ As Car Break-Ins Soar

Some Believe Neighborhood Targeted Because Of New Cars Bought After Sandy

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some residents in Howard Beach, Queens, are concerned about a spike in car break-ins there.

As CBS 2’s Don Champion reported, some car owners believe they are being targeted because of superstorm Sandy — the storm destroyed many cars in the neighborhood last year, and they’ve since been replaced by new, high-end vehicles.

Vehicle break-ins in the 106th precinct have climbed 62 percent within the past month.

One woman who did not want to be identified said her car has been broken into three times. She has since installed a driveway pole and installed security cameras.

“I work for everything I have, and they come in and I’m the one who has to live behind bars,” she said. “And they’re the one who should have to live behind bars, not me.

“It’s very frustrating,” she added. “It’s scary. You feel violated.”

Mary Krowicki said someone broke into her Lexus, stole money out of a compartment and ransacked the car.

“I feel like it’s something that, if we don’t address it, it’s going to continue,” she said.

One woman told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane that she wonders whether Howard Beach is alone in the spike of break-ins among waterfront communities hard hit by Sandy.

“Just because we have all new, everybody has new cars since Sandy. The whole half of Queens anyway,” the resident, whose eyeglasses were also stolen, told Murnane.

Other residents have reported clothing and wallets being taken from vehicles. Not all of the victims, however, have reported the crimes to police, believing they’re too petty.

The NYPD said it’s important for residents to report all break-ins so they can target trends.

“I wish it could stop because everybody over here is going crazy,” said Brian Kelly, who had his tires and rims stolen.

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