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Danger on your doorstep - Crafty burglars are finding ways of getting in

Deadbolts are not enough – Marine Park residents must take proactive steps to prevent their homes from being burglarized, cops say. The new commanding officer of the 63rd Precinct advised homeowners at a meeting of the Marine Park Civic Association that several area homes have been broken into in recent weeks and locals should follow crime prevention guidelines to protect their property. From last November to this month, seven burglaries were reported within the Marine Park confines, Capt. Frank Cangiarella said. While that may seem like a lot, Cangiarella said, “last year we had eight” during the same time period. For those that occurred this year, one was of a pharmacy and six were of homes in the neighborhood. The most recent were of an East 37th Street home on January 10 and a Ryder Street home on January 4. “We didn’t see [them] as a pattern or trend,” Cangiarella said of the residential break-ins. There have been no “push-in robberies,” he said. Cangiarella explained that there is no way to know when the burglaries are occurring, as they are reported when residents arrive home after spending several hours away. Robbers gain access to a home through a variety of ways, cops explained. One method is by pushing in air conditioners situated in windows, said Capt. Michael Ricciardi of the 63rd Precinct. “During the summer, we get a lot of burglaries with air conditioners,” he said. “The ones in the window are easy to pop out. A child can do that.” He advised residents to have a permanent cutout placed in a wall to accommodate an air conditioner. Phil Benoit, the precinct’s crime prevention officer, said that many residents are leaving their homes in jeopardy by failing to install proper locks on their front doors. While many residents opt for a single lock on the doorknob, he encouraged them to install a deadbolt as well. Bright lighting is also an effective way of deterring would-be robbers. “There are people watching to see when you’re home,” Benoit said. So, “have a motion sensor on the front of your house, the back of your house” to illuminate the property when anyone approaches. “Make it difficult for these bad guys,” Benoit said. “They’ll move on.” Through a 63rd Precinct initiative, Benoit visits homes and offers advice on how to improve security. “I’m just going to walk around your house and give recommendations on how to upgrade your security,” Benoit said. “You should really take him up on his offer,” encouraged Marine Park Civic President Greg Borruso. “Who better to tell you how to protect your house?” Residents can request the service by contacting Benoit at 718-258-1505.

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