3 Are In Custody, But 1 Suspect Remains At Large; Civilian Patrols Set To Begin

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Police were on the hunt for a swarm of thieves following a burglary spree in a quiet section of Queens on Friday night. The brazen bandits even hit homes while the owners were inside.

At least 10 homes have been burglarized in Middle Village, CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported.

“This door was open. This was set like this here. My wife’s pocketbook was down there,” Rein Olvet said, describing the scene in his house.

It was that open back door that allowed burglars to break into his family’s home.

“They grabbed some money, she has some money in her pocketbook, and I had some money laying on the dining room table,” he said.

The burglars also made off with watches, a checkbook, and tried to take the TV before Olvet realized what was happening and came downstairs.

Paul Liguouri said he was also home when his house was targeted in early July.

“When they heard me come up they took off and left a wallet here, which was a lady on the next block’s wallet,” he said.

Since June there have been 11 burglaries, police said. The suspects apparently use an alley near 77th Street to gain access to people’s homes.

Cops have stepped up patrols in the area and have posted flyers urging residents to lock their doors. Local leaders told CBS 2 that a neighborhood patrol is also being organized.

“We’re seeing now, kind of a frightening trend in home invasions and we want more police,” Robert Holden said.

Three suspects have been arrested, but police believe that one more remains at large. In the interim, residents are locking their doors.

Civilian patrols were scheduled to begin on Saturday.

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