Residents Tell CBS2 They're Concerned Because They Feel The Longer The Thief Goes Without Being Caught, The More Brazen He Might Get

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A brazen burglary spree was recently caught on camera.

A thief is seen looting a car while the unsuspecting owner walks right by.

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People who live in Riverdale say similar ripoffs happened to dozens of cars within the past few months, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported exclusively Tuesday.

Surveillance video captured it all. The thief is seen walking over to a truck parked on Fieldston Road. He tries the unlocked door and gets right in. A couple minutes later the owner of that truck walks by, not even knowing the suspect is still inside looking for cash.

“I walked right past my truck and walked into my house,” Riverdale resident John DiLullo said, “and later that night we realized the truck’s been ransacked.”

The thief got away with about $100 in cash, all while DiLullo came dangerously close to bumping right into him.

“In a way I’m happy I didn’t see him because maybe something else might have happened,” DiLullo said. “At that time of the morning, who knows what I would do? You know you still haven’t had your cup of coffee.”

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DiLullo isn’t alone. Other nearby residents told CBS2’s Liverman their cars have been stolen from as well. Erika Greenblatt said the inside of her van was a mess, like someone had rummaged through everything. What’s scarier, her van wasn’t even on her street. It was in her driveway — behind a closed gate.

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“It felt like an intrusion because they had to come through our gate to enter this property,” Greenblatt said.

And then there’s Greenblatt’s neighbor, who also had her vehicle ransacked.

“The car was open and it looked like it was rummaged through,” Deborah Greenblatt said.

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All the thefts seem to be happening in a small area historically considered very safe, along Fieldston Road and Liebig and Tyndall avenues. At least some of the incidents have happened when cars have been left unlocked.

The victims said their biggest worry is the longer this thief or thieves go without getting caught, the more brazen and possibly violent the robberies could get.

“The more confident he feels, the more risks he’ll take and that may be hours when kids are awake, kids are in the backyard,” Erika Greenblatt said.

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So far, police haven’t said if the thief is acting alone.