NBC 4 New York
As if Sandy wasn't bad enough, some storm victims say their homes are now easy targets for thieves. Greg Cergol reports.
Long Island homeowners who saw their houses gutted by Sandy have been victimized again, this time by burglars who robbed their vacant homes.
At least four homes have been burglarized in waterfront areas of Lindenhurst since November, with three most likely targeted during one night last week, according to Suffolk County police.
"I don't know how anybody could go lower than that," said Bob Britain, whose home was among those robbed. "That's the lowest of low. My God!"
In each case, police said, the burglars entered the back of the homes, peeling open plywood used to board up damaged areas. Among the items stolen, neighbors said, were jewelry and a safe.
"These are crimes of opportunity," said Suffolk Police Inspector Gerard Gigante. "It's unfortunate."
Many of the homes in the neighborhood remain damaged and vacant, nearly three months after Sandy. While some residents return by day to work or pick up mail, at night, the area takes on the look of a ghost town.
"If everyone had their insurance checks, they would be working on these places and this could have been averted," said one homeowner.
Police have increased patrols in Lindenhurst and according to Gigante, the number of burglaries has actually gone down since the first days after the storm.
Nothing of value was taken from Britain's home, but the longtime Lindenhurst resident said the thieves ransacked the upstairs of his home, ripping open boxes being stored there.
"They took what we're trying to salvage," Britain said. "After what we've been through, that's just another kick."