By Kristy O’Connell
Crime is down about 39 percent in New Hyde Park so far this year despite a slight increase throughout the 3rd Police Precinct, the precinct’s commanding officer said Tuesday.
Insp. Daniel P. Flanagan made his first visit to a New Hyde Park village Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night since taking over as the head of Nassau County’s largest police precinct.
Flanagan took the helm of the Williston Park-based precinct in January, replacing Insp. John Berry, who was promoted to executive officer of patrol. Flanagan previously led the 1st Precinct in Baldwin for three years.
Crime is up about 1.3 percent across the 3rd Precinct, which stretches from the county’s border with Queens east to Glen Cove Road and from the Village of Manorhaven south to Hempstead Turnpike.
The most common crimes to look out for in New Hyde Park are larcenies from cars and grand larcenies, Flanagan said Tuesday.
These crimes tend to occur around gyms in New Hyde Park as well as in parking lots where vehicles are unattended, he said.
Flanagan said the best way to avoid these crimes is to keep valuables out of your vehicle or keep them in your trunk where they cannot be seen.
Flanagan also warned the board and residents of a recent rise in telephone scams. He said the people behind these scams typically prey on elderly residents and claim to work for the Internal Revenue Service.
“The IRS does not call anyone,” he said. “They will notify you via mail if there are any issues.”
Flanagan also advised members of the community not to provide credit card information over the phone and to always report suspicious phone calls from people requesting money.
Though the number of burglaries tends to decrease as the days become longer, there are still ways to prevent burglars from targeting your home, said officer Todd Atkin, one of the 3rd Precinct’s Problem-Oriented Police officers who are tasked with addressing community issues.
He recommended using motion-sensor lights, fixing broken locks and keeping neighbors abreast of vacations.
New Hyde Park residents should always call in suspicious activity to 911, Atkin said. Burglars often watch blocks of houses for days at a time to determine which houses to target and when, he said.