reassured a Tuesday night that they are doing everything they can to who have plagued Plainview this fall.
They stressed this key point: Plainview should not live in fear. Instead residents should keep watch over their neighborhoods and call the police without hesitation.
"My cops are on high alert," said Nassau Police Inspector Donald Halbohn.
In a detailed presentation at the , the top cops in the Second and Eighth precincts vowed to remain vigilant in their hunt for those responsible and said the community can help them in the fight.
"I am personally offended by burglaries," said Halbohn, who commands the eighth precinct and also lives in its confines. "It's not for a lack of trying on our part. We take burglary personally."
He stressed how vital it is to call the police when suspicions are aroused, and that police do not in any way mind being called to false alarms.
"You are not going to be bothering us if you call," Halbohn said. "I'd rather be called 100 times for what turns out to be kids in your backyard for that one time we catch a burgler."
Deputy Inspector John Berry, commander of the Second Precinct, provided an in-depth review of the efforts underway by local cops to put a stop to the crimes.
The burglaries are a priority for Nassau officers and detectives, who are on the lookout for unusual behavior or people lingering in the community who clearly don't belong, Berry said. They are to the crimes and poring over lists of known criminals and drug addicts who may be working the residential corridor that straddles the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway.
The commanders said their cops are responding to calls from the public.
An overflow crowd of about 80 people crammed a meeting room in the library's basement to hear the presentation and ask questions. The community safety forum was sponsored by the and moderated by the group's leader, .
Plainview is situated in parts of both patrol precincts. The Second covers north of Old Country Road; the Eighth covers south of it, including Old Bethpage.
Police made these key points in the two-hour-long session:
- In general, burglars are non-violent, not armed and are looking only to hit unoccupied homes using the least effort possible. That means a simple lock on doors and windows or leaving lights on during the fall and winter can prevent a burglary. "Every morning I see the cases and I can't believe all the unlocked doors," Berry said.
- Home invasions -- attacks on people or property when the resident is home -- are rare and generally involve disputes between people known to each other.
- The uptick in burglaries is routine in the fall because nightfall comes before people get home from work. Burglars look for tell-tale signs of unoccupied houses: Newspapers piled up; garbage pails left out; houselights off after dusk.
- Often, burglars ring the front door bell. If no one answers, they circle to the back and test for easy access, police said.
- Residents know their neighborhoods best. Neighbors should keep close watch on suspicious activities on their block. Look in on older neighbors, and listen to gut instincts.
"When those hairs stand up on the back of your neck, that's a survival instinct," Halbohn said. "If it gives you pause, call 911."