NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking for a thief in connection with more than a dozen burglaries in Queens.
CBS2’s Magdalena Doris spoke with one of the suspect’s victims on Wednesday.
“They clipped the lock, and then they broke this window and went in,” she said.
The woman was shaken after her home on 80th Street in Glen Oaks was burglarized. She didn’t want to show her face, but described what she came home to.
“Everything was upside down in the basement, the upstairs everything, all the drawers, all the closets,” she said.
The family went out to celebrate the woman’s upcoming wedding, and returned to find a once locked door, open.
“There was a lot of jewelry missing, presents that we had for the groom’s side, for the bride’s side, all of that,” she said.
Her story is similar to what happened on 268th Street and 77th Avenue in January. John Morena called the police when his neighbor’s home was ransacked while they were on vacation.
“They took the air conditioner out, went right in, did whatever they had to do, and they walked out the door,” Morena said.
Police have connected 16 burglaries, all following the same pattern in the 105 Precinct, since January. With the help of surveillance photos they have an idea of who they are looking for.
Police say the woman targets homes, typically enters through a window, or unlocked back door, and grabs cash and small valuable items like jewelry.
Neighbors believe there may be a common tie.
“As per Indian culture people keep a lot of gold in their house in case of an emergency,” Eldo Varkey said, “The crooks know that they have money and gold in their house.”
Cops can’t confirm that the thefts were racially motivated, but they do know that the suspect has been driving around in a van.
“When I walk I always have to look everywhere if someone is sitting in a car or not,” Joyti Kour said, “I think they are studying the block, who goes where and what time they come out.”
Police want to catch the woman who they called a driving factor in the 18 percent uptick of burglaries in the neighborhood.