By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In response to a rash of break-ins of private homes in Dyker Heights, the commanding officer of the 68th Police Precinct has stepped up the investigation and has issued tips to residents on how to reduce the chances of having their houses burglarized.
Residents are on edge in the wake of a series of break-ins, accoridng to civic leasders in the community. Several of the burglaries have taken place in the area between 73rd and 79th streets from 11th to 13th avenues, police said. The thieves usually steal jewelry. iPads, and laptop computers, cops said. In one case, a break-in on 73rd Street between 13th and 14th avenues, the crooks also made off with $5,000 in cash.
Police said they weren't at liberty to discuss the details of the investigation, but said catching the burglars is a high priority.
Capt. Richard DiBlasio has also issued the crime prevention tips through the 68th Precinct Community Council. Council President Ilene Sacco sent out an email to thousands of subscribers on the organization’s email alert system.
The tips include advice on the importance of making sure windows and doors are locked when leaving the house and a suggestion that jewelry be stored in a locked safe. Homeowners should consider installing alarms and high-quality security cameras, police said.
There was also some advice on how to be more Internet savvy. “If you are a victim of a burglary, be careful of what information you post on social media sites. Sometimes the bad guys are on these sites!,” DiBlasio wrote. “For instance if you tell everyone that the suspect is wearing a red jacket, he or she might buy a blue jacket,” he wrote.
The burglary spree is also drawing concern from elected officials and candidates for public office.
John Quaglione, running for the Republican Party’s nomination for the Dyker Heights-Bay Ridge City Council seat, called on DiBlasio to a put more cops on the street.
In a letter to the captain, Quaglione requested that DiBlasio “assign increased patrols within the Dyker Heights section of the 68th Precinct.” Quaglione noted the effect the burglaries spree is having on residents. “As you well know, the recent rash of home break-ins affects the quality of life and sense of security in our community,” he wrote.
“I know that the residents of Dyker Heights have your attention today and every day, but are specifically turning to you now to help keep our streets safe,” Quaglione wrote.
Quaglione also said he will push the New York Police Department to assign more permanent officer to the local precinct.
Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Dyker Heights-Bay Ridge), the man currently holding the seat Quaglione covets, said he is working closely with police.
“We have received and responded to several calls regarding a handful of home burglaries in Dyker Heights. We are in close and constant contact with the 68th Precinct regarding these crimes,” Gentile told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“I can say that there is a lot going on behind the scenes and this is a very high priority of mine,” Gentile added. He would not elaborate.
“Any tips or leads should be shared confidentially and not in a public forum,” Gentile’s spokesman Justin Brannan said. “Feel free to email Councilman Gentile personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 718-748-5200. Or you can always contact the detectives at the 68th Precinct at 718-439-4211,” Brannan said.
“In addition, Councilman Gentile is always in favor of hiring more police officers,” he said.