(click map for interactive version of map with event details and locations)
An email has been making the rounds among North End residents regarding a string of burglaries in the North End of New Rochelle over the past six months. Police suspect a team of experienced burglars have been canvassing homes in the North End, forcing their way into homes and moving in and out of the houses very quickly. In many cases, the burglars are gone before police are even notified of the break-in by alarm companies.
Police records show that since October 1, 2009 there have been 21 burglaries and 4 attempted burglaries in the “North End” of New Rochelle, described as North of Eastchester Road but West of North Avenue and North of Fifth Avenue but East of North Avenue.
I wanted to get the word out if you have not heard already about the rash of robberies that has hit the North End of New Rochelle. Apparently there is a team that has been hitting homes, when people are not home between the hours of 5pm – 11. They have been smashing in sliders or front doors and going right for the bedroom in search of jewelry. They are in and out of the homes before the alarm companies can get the police there. The police are working on it but it is not being made public…I think the more people that are aware, the better. A friend of mine was robbed 2 weeks ago. Thankfully she was not home. She relayed some things the police told her- If you see anyone that looks suspicious to call them- they will come out. They also said to keep your house well lit in the evening hours, especially if you are not home. You may also want to call your alarm company, alert them and change your call order. Usually, they will contact you, then the others on your call list before contacting the police. By then it will be too late. Please pass this along to other New Rochelle friends and neighbors. The more people that know the better.
It has been a known-issue among New Rochelle City Officials that the New Rochelle Police Department does not have sufficient manpower to cover the North End of New Rochelle to allow it to respond very quickly to reported break-ins and calls from alarm companies. “To a large extent”, said one City official who asked not to be identified, “North End residents are on their own.”
The email being sent around contains the best advice police can offer:
- Report any suspicious persons or anything that is out of place such a vehicle parked in an unusual location.
- Keep the house well lit in the evening hours, especially if you are not home. Leaving a radio or television on can help.
- For those with alarms, use them. For those without them, get them.
- Direct the alarm company to call the police, FIRST.
NOTE: The police classify a break-in and taking of personal property as a burglary; a “robbery” is “stick-up” where property is taken from a person by force or implied force. So “rash of burglaries” is the correct phrase to describe these events.
Some residents have contacted Talk of the Sound to ask why the New Rochelle Police do not proactively warn residents when there is increased activity of this kind. The police are acting on direction from City officials who are concerned with protecting home values in the area. This is a trade-off that City officials have long made. The question is whether concerns over public awareness of criminal activity in the North End outweighs concerns over public safety.
In answer to those who have asked why more police cars are not deployed in the North End, you might first look at the entire map of New Rochelle linked above and scroll down to the South End where the number of burglaries far outweighs those in the North End. The same pattern exists for most every other type of crime that occurs in New Rochelle. Police have to deploy most of their resources in the South End because that is where most of the criminal activity occurs. There are a handful of buildings that account for the bulk of the use of police resources in New Rochelle: some of the public housing facilities and New Roc City.
North End residents might then ask how many mobile units are deployed on each shift, especially between the hours of 5 PM and 11 PM when most these burglaries are occurring. North End residents in District 6 will have a chance to raise these questions directly to Councilwoman Marianne Sussman who will be holding a District 6 Neighborhood Associations meeting on Tuesday April 27th, 7:30 PM at Beth El Synagogue Center at North and Quaker Ridge Road. Kathy Gilwit, Director of Communications and Marketing for the City of New Rochelle will be the Special Guest.
UPDATE: At the City Council meeting today, District 6 Councilwoman Marianne Sussman raised the issue of the North End Burglary Spree in the context of an appearance before Council of Police Commissioner Carroll to discuss proposed security cameras in New Rochelle. Sussman asked if cameras could be place at ramps leading to/from the Hutchinson River Parkway. Carroll stated that this could be done. He further stated that as part of police efforts to deal with the North End Burglary Spree, the police were following a procedure to check if they had issues any citations in the area and that they would check vehicles coming in/out of the area via security cameras if/when they were available. Carroll specifically mentioned a “white van”.
UPDATE: City of New Rochelle Civic Alert. To put this information in context I was looking on the City web site and found the following information:
The one figure that did see an increase in 2009 was burglary, of about 15%. While still low numerically in comparison to other years and even last year (206 incidents in 2009 versus 179 in 2008) the New Rochelle Police Department is committed to reducing these crimes by 10% in 2010, said Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll.