Co-op City Residents advised to remove loose valuables from their vehicles as "smash and grab" auto crimes, in the Coop City area, increase.
Aside from unusually cold and wintry weather, March has brought with it a spike in auto crimes in Co-op City, all related to the smashing of car windows and, in most cases, the theft of personal property from those vehicles.
The crime pattern began on March 5, 2017 as officers discovered several vehicles parked in the vicinity of Dafoe Place just off of Dreiser Loop, with smashed car windows.
On March 14, 2017, a similar crime occurred as a cooperator reported a car window smashed and personal property removed from the car. The car was parked in Section 5 of Coop City.
On March 16, 2017 the same crime occurred, this time on Dreier Loop and the next day March 17, 2017, a vehicle was hit in a similar way again in Section 5.
Also, on March 8, 2017, a cooperator reported that his or her vehicle's catalytic convertor had been removed while it was parked in the Co-op City vicinity of Bellamy Loop.
Chief Frank Apollo, commander of the Co-op City Public Safety Department, said that the department is working to catch the person or persons responsible for this spike in auto vandalism and larceny, but in the meantime, he advised residents to remove any valuables from their car after they park and before they exit their vehicles.
He described these crimes as a crime of opportunity where the criminals will often look into several vehicles looking for something to steal and when they see something they smash the window and remove the items quickly.
In almost all cases, these crimes are committed under the cover of night so Co-op City residents are advised to be extra careful when parking their vehicle for the overnight period.
In many cases, the Chief said, the crime occurs because of as little as a few dollars of loose change left visible in the car. For the sake of two dollars in change, a broken car window can cost you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.
A similar crime spree occurred during the summer of 2015 and within weeks Co-op City detectives made several arrests and stopped the pattern.
Chief Apollo expressed confidence that this crime pattern will be stopped as well, but in the meantime, he asked residents to be vigilant and remove valuables from sight before leaving their vehicles for the night.
Residents who spot suspicious behavior regarding this or other types of crime are asked to call Public Safety
at (718) 671-3050
or online at www.ccpd.us
. All tipsters may remain anonymous.
In the case of these types of crimes, the sooner a tip is received from a witness to a crime spree in progress the more likely in can lead to an arrest. But in all cases, the cooperator is never to intervene or attempt to stop the crime, but call Public Safety so that trained detectives and officers can respond and take the appropriate steps to stop the crime and make arrests if warranted.
By Bill Stuttig
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