By Anthony J. Santino

Senior Councilman,

Town of Hempstead

The number of thefts from autos in the Five Towns has increased in recent weeks. On the morning of Friday, April 17, many Woodmere residents made the unpleasant discovery that thieves had accessed their cars overnight and stolen various items. In many cases, the affected cars had been left unlocked. My office is presently working closely with the Nassau County Police Department–specifically, Fourth Precinct CO Inspector John Berry–to address these unfortunate incidents.

Because thefts from autos tend to increase during the warmer months, Inspector Berry immediately directed additional police patrols in the area, particularly during the overnight hours, and fully briefed the Fourth Precinct desk officers on the recent car break-ins, instructing them to fully assist victims who wish to file a police report. To report a crime, residents should call 911, even if it is not presently an emergency.

Below is a list of key points that will help us work together to ensure the continued safety and security of our community:

-   Victims of a theft from a vehicle, or any crime, regardless of how minor it may seem, are strongly urged to file a police report as soon as possible.

-   Police reports help track what crimes are being committed, how often, and where, and are an essential tool for precinct commanders to fine-tune patrols, allocate resources, and gather evidence to make arrests.

-   The sooner a crime is reported, the greater the likelihood police officers responding to the scene can find evidence left behind by the subject. If victims or owners drive the car around, especially with passengers, it is far less likely that any useful evidence will be found. In any case, filing a police report is strongly encouraged.

-   The Fourth Precinct is always interested in good surveillance video, which will be used to identify subjects when possible.

While several arrests have been made, the following auto-safety tips may help prevent becoming a victim:

-   Always lock your car doors, even if you’re only leaving the car unattended for a few minutes. Thefts from cars are usually crimes of opportunity, committed by someone simply trying door handles to see if the car is unlocked.

-   Do not leave any valuables inside the vehicle, even if it’s in your driveway.

-   Park in a well-lit area whenever possible.

-   Do not delay in reporting any suspicious activity.

Residents are always welcome to call me at my office at 516-812-3200 should they wish to discuss this or any other issue in greater detail.


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