The village has seen a spike in residential burglaries so far this year when compared to the same time period in 2011, according to Garden City police.
As of July 8, 15 residential burglaries were reported in the village - eight more when compared to the same time period last year.
"This follows a trend throughout Nassau County where there has been a significant increase in residential burglaries," Inspector Kenneth Jackson, acting police commissioner, said.
The most recent burglaries occurring during the past few weeks have occurred primarily during daytime hours, police said, and in most cases forced entry was made through a rear window or door. Jewelry and electronic devices are the primary items taken during these crimes.
On June 27 officers responded to a report of a burglary alarm at a First Street residence and upon arrival observed a rear basement window damaged. There was no apparent entry into the residence though Garden City and Nassau County detectives are conducting an investigation into the matter.
Detectives are also investigating an incident where an entrance door to a Stewart Avenue residence was forcibly entered and assorted jewelry, silverware and other personal items were found missing on the same day.
Three days later, on June 30, police report that the rear window to a St. James Street South residence was found shattered. Several rooms inside were found ransacked and an undetermined amount of property was removed from the residence.
On July 10, officers responded to a residential burglar alarm on Meadow Street and discovered that someone had entered the basement by breaking a basement window, according to the department. The intruder apparently fled the scene when the alarm was activated.
On the same day, a rear basement window to a Hilton Avenue residence was found damaged by the resident. There was no apparent entry into the residence due to the activation of their alarm system, police said.
Jackson told Patch that the Garden City Detective Division is working closely with the Nassau County Detective Division in solving these cases. The department has also beefed up residential patrols with both marked and unmarked vehicles. Evidence recovered at some of these locations has been sent out for testing.
In light of these incidents, Inspector Jackson offers the following recommendations:
- Trim overgrown shrubbery and trees where someone could be able to secrete themselves.
- Check exterior lighting, this includes the back and sides of the home.
- Check windows and door locks; make sure they are in working order.
- Keep all doors and windows locked when you are home, away, or just in your back yard.
- Move and secure items that could be used to facilitate entry through ground floor windows.
- Close your drapes, blinds and window treatments at night as a deterrent.
- If you have an alarm use it at all times, even if you are leaving the residence for a few minutes.
- Surveillance and alarm systems should be routinely checked to ensure proper operation.
- Consider a panic alarm or keeping a telephone near the bed.
- Leave an interior light on or use a timer. Leave a radio or television on when out of the house.
- Discontinue any deliveries while away on business or vacation.
- Inventory, photograph and have an appraisal conducted on valuable items.
- When approaching or leaving your home, look for suspicious persons or vehicles.
- Varying your routine can be an additional deterrent.
- Do not enter your residence if you think someone may be inside. Notify the police immediately.
- If you hear or see someone in your home, exit if you can and discretely call the police right away.
- Do not try to confront the intruder.
- If a burglar does confront you, remain calm; comply with the burglars' instructions. Remember your life is more valuable than your property. Try to memorize a description of the subject. When the subject leaves, call the police by dialing 911.
In addition to these recommendations, the Garden City Police Department urges all residents to be aware of suspicious activity around them and to call them promptly during the following situations:
- Call when your or your neighbor's house/car alarm goes off.
- Call when there are suspicious noises or persons in your yard or a neighbor’s yard.
- Call when you see a suspicious person and or vehicle.
- Call if a vehicle is observed driving up and down the street for no apparent reason.
- Try to obtain a plate number and a good description of suspicious vehicles.
- Try to obtain a good description of all suspicious persons and/or possible suspects.
- Call when you observe activity at neighbors’ residences when you know they are away.
- If you see a neighbor's door or window ajar, open or broken, call the police.
- If you see a neighbor's car door or window ajar, open or broken, call the police.
- Call when your dog barks due to some type of activity outside, particularly at night.
"Neighbors can help neighbors in the prevention of burglaries and in the apprehension of suspects," Jackson said. "There have been numerous incidents where the keen observation of residents has resulted in the apprehension of persons committing criminal acts.
"In addition, residents with surveillance systems are encouraged to notify the police department when it is possible that their system recorded a crime or other suspicious activity either on their property or in the street or an adjacent property. Surveillance systems have proven to be significant tools in the prevention of criminal acts as well as in the apprehension of suspects."