When Fresh Meadows resident Susan Yang recently returned from China, where she was caring for her ailing father, she discovered much of her life savings and expensive jewelry had been stolen from her ransacked home.
“I was heartbroken,” said Yang, 44, who lives by herself in the house. “I’m still trying to recover. This is a life−changing event, and it’s going to take me many years to recover from the nightmares. I can’t sleep; I keep looking back on what evil could’ve done this.”
Bundles of $20 bills, totaling tens of thousands of dollars, and valuable jewelry, including gold and diamonds, were stolen sometime between Jan. 20 and Feb. 2, when Yang said a post office worker discovered the door open. Yang left for China in mid−January to spend time with her father, who had just suffered a stroke, and her college−aged daughter departed Fresh Meadows Jan. 20 to return to school in Boston.
“They stole a large amount of my life savings,” Yang said. “I have a habit of putting $20 bills in my house whenever I receive payments from clients, and that money is an emergency fund in case somebody gets sick.”
The burglary has shaken Yang, who believed her neighborhood in the area between Union Turnpike and 75th Avenue to be one of the safest in the borough.
With her home burglarized and thieves hitting several other houses in her neighborhood this winter, Yang is resolved to find the perpetrator — which is why she reached out to state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D−Little Neck) for help last week.
Yang found on her air−conditioning unit outside her window a pendant with the picture of a dog and the phrase “I wuff you” printed on the piece, which she believes belongs to the burglar. Yang said the window where she found the piece appears to be one of the places the burglar attempted to enter her house.
Weprin is now helping Yang to broadcast information and photos about the pendant in the hopes it will prove to be an important clue in the case.
“We’re going to help her organize a community crime watch meeting so police can advise people on what not to do, and the first on that list is don’t keep a lot of cash lying around,” Weprin said.
Police have also been working with Yang to apprehend the perpetrator.
107th Police Precinct Community Affairs Officer John Newman said detectives continue to work on Yang’s case and said they, in addition to Weprin, are helping her form a neighborhood watch group. The volunteer group would help to patrol the area.
Yang, who runs her businesses Miracle Touch Massage Therapy and Miracle Touch Realty from her home, said despite the despair that has plagued her following the burglary, it has also inspired her to get involved with her community and help prevent theft for others.
She is now in the process of forming a nonprofit, Miracle Action Group, that will help the victims of crime, advocate crime prevention and provide free services, such as therapy, for victims of crime.
“We’re going to work to especially help female victims because burglars specifically target women because they think they’re weaker,” Yang said. “Many women out t here are fearful for their safety, for their properties, for their children. I want to help them.”
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e−mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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