Bandit Shanghais storm windows in Queens Village

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When William Heffernan and his wife went to sleep a few weeks ago, it was just like any other night in their Queens Village home. What they did not expect was to wake up in the morning to find all of their storm windows missing.

Heffernan, who lives on 216th Street, woke up to find that thieves had stopped by in the course of the night and removed seven storm windows from his home.

“Storm windows are outside of the regular window and are held in place with screws,” Heffernan said. “They stole the whole set. They took it all off.”

He said he asked around the neighborhood if anybody had ever heard of a similar incident, but people had difficulty grasping what had happened to his windows. In fact, he said, many people laughed at his predicament.

“Everybody says this is the first time they have heard of it,” he said. “But they can’t believe it. The problem is that some people I talk to don’t know what I am talking about.”

The seven metal stolen storms, Heffernan said, cost about $1,200 to $1,500. Heffernan has been trying to get his insurance company to respond, but the company representative is giving him a bit of a hard time because stolen storm windows are an unusual occurrence.

Heffernan said the windows, which folded and enabled the homeowner to wash the window from the inside, were fairly new. The windows also came with a screen for summer and a piece of Plexiglas for the winter.

Police Officer Pete Dwyer, community affairs officer in the 105th Precinct, said there have not been any reports of similar incidents in the area. He said the crime was a rare occurrence.

Dwyer said it might be an isolated incident, but people should be aware, and if anybody has had storm windows stolen, it should be reported to the police.

The crime is classified as a larceny because items were stolen from the victim’s property, but not burglary because the robbers did not enter the person’s home.

Heffernan said he had heard that thieves who steal items from the outside of houses operate just before people go to work. Thus, if pedestrians walk by, it looks as if a homeowner is having work done and “they don’t think anything of it.”

He said he wanted to make sure other people hear about what happened to him because he does not want the same thing to happen to them. In addition, he said, if somebody else has had the same problem, he would like to know about it.

“They’ll steal anything,” Heffernan said.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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