Police say the number of burglaries in the Forest Hills area has nearly doubled compared with last year. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.
Residents in Forest Hills, Queens are on edge after a recent rash of home break-ins that sent their neighborhood burglary statistics soaring by nearly 100 percent.
The most recent burglary was over the weekend on 69th Avenue. The homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous in order to protect her identity, said she returned home Saturday evening after having been gone all day to find her home ransacked.
Jennifer Bondanza also returned home Saturday to see that someone had tried to break the gate to her driveway. But the thief or thieves were unable to gain entry.
"Whoever it is, they should arrest them soon," she said.
The crime wave started in February of this year and has caused the number of burglaries to spike a whopping 93 percent in the 112th Precinct. At this time last year, there were 29 burglaries in the precinct; this year, there have already been 56, according to the NYPD.
"In most cases, we heard that jewelry and money were taken," said neighbor Charlie Crawbuck. "But two of them actually walked out with big screen televisions, which seems kind of brazen to me."
Police have held meetings with the community to caution them about the crimes and urged them to take precautions.
"I had an alarm system installed, I have safety doors," said resident Ronan Hogg. "I leave lights on during the day and nighttime."
Many people are reinforcing their windows and doors and even installing security cameras, something lifelong residents never would have considered in the past. Meanwhile, neighbors say the NYPD has increased its presence in the neighborhood, sending marked and unmarked cars to patrol the streets.
"I feel like there's been so many so many at this point they should have a lead or something," said Bondanza. "It seems like every day somebody's house is getting broken into."