Crime Surges in the Rockaways

Sunday, Oct 2, 2011  |  Updated 10:44 AM EDT
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Crime Surges in the Rockaways

Getty Images/Mario Tama

The Rockaways in Queens is normally a low-crime area of beach properties and homes but it's been hit recently with a crime wave.

Crime in the normally peaceful area of the Rockaways in Queens has surged, with break-ins alone jumping 119 percent this year, according to the New York Post.

That's the worst crime increase in any neighborhood in the city through Sept. 18 over the same period last year, according to the paper. No other area had a triple-digit rise in the felonies that affect most New Yorkers -- robbery, burglary, assault, grand larceny and auto theft.

The Queens' 100th Precinct is normally a low-crime zone of residences and beach properties, but that neighborhood ease is exactly what thieves appear to be taking advantage of: Thieves are getting into places where doors or windows aren't locked, says the Post.

They're taking jewelry, bikes, cash, electronics, and even potted plants.

"It started sometime around the hurricane in a small pocket around Rockaway Park-Belle Harbor," Lew Simon, leader of Assembly District 23, told the Post. 

In the past four weeks alone, there were 17 break-ins in the area.

Police say the burglaries may be the work of a single suspect, and are looking for a young white man or light-skinned Hispanic who cruises the area on his bike in bathing trunks.

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