Deputy Inspector Harun Begis of the Nassau County Police Department’s 6th Precinct said that two burglaries in Roslyn Estates in the last three months may be linked to a Chilean ring suspected of carrying out burglaries in the Great Neck and Manhasset areas.
The inspector, who is deputy commanding officer of the precinct, made the remarks at an event at Roslyn Estates Village Hall on Monday night in which he and village Mayor Paul Leone Peters answered questions from residents.
“We’re getting hit in Saddle Rock and Flower Hill, and we’re saturating the area with police officers,” Begis said. “It’s more than one group that goes out there. They come in from Chile and go to places where they know there’s money.”
The burglaries in the Roslyn Estates area took place in the evenings of Oct. 23 and Nov. 23 while the homeowners were out, an aspect that Begis said was common in the string of North Shore burglaries.
“They want in, they want out,” Begis said. “Crime spikes when daylight savings ends, when it gets dark and nobody’s home.”
The inspector explained that the burglars would “do their homework” with a process involving counter surveillance, renting high-end cars to blend into neighborhoods and looking for easy targets.
“They also know that a lot of times, the second floor is not alarmed; most people don’t alarm the second floor,” Begis said. “So they’re gaining access to that and they hit a number of places.”
An incident in Saddle Rock where the police were notified resulted in two suspects being taken into custody, Begis said.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Begis said. “The pattern is that they leave just before the holidays and go back wherever they came from. We expect crime to level off since we’ve got the two of them.”
One resident said that she had not been informed of the burglaries when they occurred, and Peters responded by saying that he only found out about them later as well.
“We’re only notified by the police in a monthly report, in our monthly communications with them. There’s not necessarily a notification network,” he said.
“Maybe we can do something so we know,” the resident said.
“Like a Neighborhood Watch?” Peters asked.
The resident was supportive of the notion, but Peters said that most of the information in a Neighborhood Watch circle relied on second- and third-hand accounts.
“Our analysts look at times and occurrences and that’s when we flood the area with officers,” Begis said.
Among the advice Begis had for the residents was avoiding any signs on what their home security system might be, saying that while an alarm would deter a novice burglar, a professional burglar would instead know how to avoid a system’s trigger points. The inspector also advised thinking about the possibilities of burglars in shrubs and greenery.
Begis also encouraged residents to call the police if they had any doubts about anything strange going on in their neighborhood, as the information would help form patterns for the police to look into.
“You can’t breathe too easy, because this could happen again, but we can’t live in fear of what could happen,” Begis said. “You just have to be reasonable in what you do. Anything you see that’s out of the ordinary, please call us.”
The Nassau County Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Daniel Offner contributed reporting.