Thievery in the West End: A Post from a Concerned Resident

A West End  resident asked me to post the following message with the hopes of building community awareness on recent thefts that have occurred:

Hi Anthony,

I am a big fan of your blog and follow it closely. I believe you may have touched on this topic in the past: bike theft (and theft of other property).

I would like to tell you our story. Over the past year, we have had multiple items stolen from us on Indiana Avenue. What transpired this past Wednesday afternoon takes the cake and has prompted us to try to spread the word far and wide, through social media channels, neighbors, etc. It seems as if things have rapidly gone downhill in our part of the West End as it would pertain to property theft.

On Wednesday, August 26, sometime between 6PM and 7PM, our 2+ year old daughter’s bicycle was stolen from the Indiana Beach entrance. They also took her helmet, and even her shoes!! The poor girl had to be carried home screaming.

Previous to that, during the Spring and over a 1 month period, we had the following items taken from the side of our home on Indiana Ave, north of Beech Street:

  • A children’s scooter
  • A children’s push Car, kind of a little race car with a trunk and a horn with a handle attached to the back
  • One of those fluorescent green with flag “child at play” standees

Finally, last week, a friend’s Cannondale Mountain Bike was also taken from the side of our house (very distinct: blue with yellow handgrips).

No, nothing was locked up, and of course should have been. Yes, we should have probably called the authorities and reported it all, but did not.

Be that as it may, the bottom-line here is that we have a THIEF in our midst (or a group of them). We want to start tracking this activity so that we can build local awareness, and hopefully bring those responsible to justice. Or at the very minimum, so that others can prevent this from happening to them.

I know bike/property theft has always been there to some degree, but this has never happened to us in our 10 years living in the West End, and it is now a regular occurrence. Something has clearly changed in the past year or so.

There are some local rumors that this has been happening around the neighborhood and it just really sucks feeling like you are mark and being preyed upon. Suffice it to say we have invested in a bunch of locks and will be using them moving forward. Also considering home surveillance at this point.

If you feel it appropriate, we would greatly appreciate help in raising awareness. It may very well be a troubled local person with an easy means of converting this property into cash. Maybe they can be found out and helped. I’m sure there would be plenty of “you should have locked it up” comments, but in the end, it would be great if other West End residents would come forward if in fact they too have been victimized, which is our ultimate goal.

Broader community awareness and vigilance may help solve this problem, as it did when somebody had been breaking into houses in the West End a few years ago.

We want to go back to being a neighborhood where property theft is a rarity, rather than a regular occurrence. At the very least, use our story as a cautionary tale, and make sure to always lock up your stuff!

You can even feel free to give out the following email if anybody wants to contact me: clbcitizen@gmail.com (unless your experience suggest that this is a bad idea).

Thanks so much and regards,

Ben Robbed

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60 thoughts on “Thievery in the West End: A Post from a Concerned Resident”

  1. Without throwing stones about the reasons for this increase in crime, let me make two suggestions.

    The thefts should be reported. The LBPD will try to discourage your making a report, but insist. Also insist on an Incident Number for the report. Otherwise, you may be lied to and told your report was taken when it was not. It is VERY important that the police show a steady decline in all crime; much of this is being done by simply discouraging its reporting.

    Consider a cheap video system for both sides of your home. Walmart sells a four-camera system (60′ of wire for each) for $199 that records 200 days of video on its included DVR and is simple to install.

    When you get the video of the thief stealing your stuff and the LBPD still refuses to pursue an arrest, bring it to the Nassau County DA. They will handle the issue to your satisfaction.

    This has worked for us.

  2. A Police Officer assigned to the West End attended Monday’s meeting of the West End Neighbors Civic Association (WENCA).

    He offered general comments about Police activity and precautions. In response to a question about bike theft he said the Department was aware of the problem, suggested that thefts should be reported, but directed any further questions on policy or status of the investigation to the Police Department.

    Seems clear that additional precautions are recommended and that each incident should be reported so that the Department is aware of the extent of the problem.

  3. I am very sad to read this blog post especially because I live right on Indiana! I am new to the community and have always wanted to live here (bucket list item, in fact) and am a renter who is eager to make Long Beach West End my permanent residence. It has been my experience – albeit limited – that Indiana Ave is more ‘residential’ than it is to have passersby/transient on my side (between Beech and Park) — so it concerns me this is a ‘close-to-home’ situation.

    I am sorry you have been a victim several times over. I do agree with contacting the police and filing a report – no matter what the item to establish a pattern.

    If there is anything I can do to be a part of the ‘neighborhood watch’ community – let me know. And yes, I will email you as requested.

  4. Regarding the bicycle thefts, people should be vigilant for a group of 3 gentlemen riding through the area, 2 on bikes, one of the handlebars. If they come back past you on 3 bikes you know one of your neighbor’s bike has just been lifted. LBPD is supposedly aware of these fine residents.

  5. Mickey, It must be good to blissfully unaware and be able to blame all things bad on bogeymen from other parts of town. As in most of the recent incidents of thievery perpetrated in the West End, the gentlemen I was referring to are LB grown and would stand out like snowflakes on an asphalt driveway.

  6. You forgot to add the “and do nothing about it”. How hard would it be to follow that group of people riding in tandem like that, and put some unlocked bikes along some streets and conduct sting operations. Quite easy, but its isn’t done, and now you know why crime like this is rising in LB.

  7. Thank you all for the suggestions – we will be reporting this to the LBPD so that our file would hopefully be compared to other similar data they have on file.

    The main point we are trying to drive home is that this had never happened before, and now it is happening with alarming frequency. They are out there – whoever they are. Anybody similarly affected should report it and talk about it far and wide – to as many people as possible – so that we can hopefully create some local awareness and maybe fix the problem.

  8. As neighbors, you should do something. Stand up for your property and your community. Simply talking with the police isn’t going to do a thing. They don’t even consider this type of event a larceny. Get a neighborhood watch, buy cameras as suggested and question outsiders peering down your sideyards. Sure, you should tell the police, but if you stop there, nothing will happen.

  9. Dear Ben Robbed,

    I agree on the reporting to the LBPD. The major shift from last year is every block is in the midst of Rebuilding. I don’t want to feel we are in lock down, but we need to look out for each other and our homes. At the end of the day there are vans that go slowly down the street. In search for metal scraps that our guts of our former lives.

    I am not casting blame upon them just that there are numerous people from all over and it’s a reminder of how vulnerable we still are. If the LBPD is aware of the situation than reporting seems are only option. Then we can ask to see the # of incidences. I don’t want to put surveillance cameras out or flood lights; but I am a Pollyanna realist.

    See something, say something.
    Let our local Civic know too. Power in numbers.

  10. A friend of mine’s Iphone was stolen from a west end bar. He tracked down the location through GPS and was led to the overcrowded Section 8 mini apartments in the west end. He knocked on the door, saw many residents crammed into one apt and asked for his phone back. They denied having it. He threatened to call immigration and viola…the phone was shown to him and thrown out the window so he would leave.
    The reason crime is going up in the West End is because zoning requirements and restrictions are not being enforced and slumlords are putting in Section 8 housing. This should be stopped.

  11. Read Sustainable Long Island’s Website. The City partnered with this group to bring more Section 8 cases in the West End. It’s payback for that neigborhood’s Republican voting. Celebrate the diversity and Choice of Housing that Sustainable brags about! Over 155 new Section 8 parasites since Sandy!! While you work, they steal.

  12. As someone who grew up in they city, ya’ll in LB need to wake up and smell the coffee. Safety is an illusion and your property is your responsibility. The vast majority of crimes are typically opportunity based so lock your doors, property and get some cameras. And then follow Eddies advice above. If you’re waiting for LBPD to do something, good luck. They got their raises and packages and that’s all they care about.

  13. We’re all of the stolen bikes locked? I had my first bike stolen here about 30 years ago, just because it was unlocked on the side of my house. Locked every other bike after that, none stolen. Even a dollar-store lock looped through the wheel and the frame helps. With nothing to back it up, I believe most of these thefts now are just “opportunity” for a kid looking for a quick ride home or a drunk looking for fun. I don’t believe these are pros riding around with bolt cutters, only to steal kids’ plastic scooters. Honestly, were all those bikes mentioned above locked?

    This is no longer a small town with homes that stay in a family for generations. My house used to be “the Mulligan’s House.” At least 50 % of my neighbors have changed since I moved here. An influx of “new folks” have helped drive up your property values, but at a cost. Once again, “what’s good for the City is not always good for the people who live here.” Unfortunately, the past couple of years I’ve started locking my doors when I go out, just like most of America does.

  14. I agree, Mickey. Whenever I see a person most likely with Section 8 voucher I cross the street to avoid being mugged. Those elderly, veterans, single parents with children and people with special needs are ruining our pristine West End and ‘merica.

    ‘merica is going down the tubes because of Sustainable Long Island and their plot to force diversity down our necks!

  15. Community policing is all but dead in the West End. Observing a police car patrolling the street every 30-60 minutes, once the norm here, is now rare.

  16. Why aren’t you in Far Rockaway, Allison. That’s 100% “elderly, veterans, single parents with children and people with special needs”. Why aren’t you living there?

  17. I lived in the west end for 4 years , My bike was stolen on Tennessee , I should have reported it but I didn’t I won’t make the same mistake twice. It definitely influenced my decision to move to the east end though, ( which I plan to do in March). The main influence would be how much more rowdy and disrespectful non residents are becoming at night nce Sandy .Only really at night, not during the day , and that’s not something that’s going to get any better it’s only going to get worse with this “jersey Shore” mentality our guests have . Last night , I saw one of these kids who clearly thinks he’s on the show “growing up Gotti” walking to a pizza shop, smoking a cigarette he was upset when he was asked to leave. not to mention he was harassing women on the Street. No class ..not to change the subject of the blog post but these are the people that are hanging around our houses…just saying .

  18. Welcome to the East End, Steve. You’ll find it’s a different world from the West End. The City Council has written off the West End after they voted against them at re-election. I feel for the good people stuck there.

  19. I wrote this post on my phone, I am usually more grammatically correct , I have a Masters … I swear! But in all seriousness, I definitely agree with you , the only time I really see a significant amount of police , besides the occasional patrol car, is on the weekends in the summer. It’s a catch-22 situation here in the West End, as we all know. We all want the businesses, the bars the restaurants, to be successful, but unfortunately that also brings along an unsavory element. I’m not one to give up without a fight, but I really don’t see any solution here whatsoever. Since Sandy, The non-residents are just getting worse and worse.

  20. I hate to state the obvious, but the bars and the Realtors run the West End. I swear the new downward trend started with the first Realtor who advertised “the Trendy West End.” Remember that? It sounded crazy at the time, but they’re making it happen. From what I understand the City constantly grants variances so the bars can “super-size.” Booze is the only “urban planner” down west. I don’t know if it’s punishment or just the flow of money that makes Long Beach encourage this.

  21. …eh, lets see….

    The West End is the only part of the city which voted against the Democrats. Since that election, every variance has been approved in the West End. Extension of bars, 35-foot tall houses, two-family permits without parking. Dozens of Section 8 hoards (veterans, seniors and research PhD’s they’re not) have been placed in the West End. Whatever the City gets from FEMA — beach entrance showers, new water mains, new sewers — goes everywhere but the West End.

    Wake up and see what’s going on here. You people are being screwed and you’re saying “Thank you Sir, may I have another”.

  22. Bike theft did not begin with the last election. I guess in the East End you get your West End news from reading LB Patch? Sure sounds like that old Patch drone, Section 8 people cause all that’s evil. Come down West on a weekend and see how many white drunk out of town punks are roaming the streets compared to the number of “Section 8″s. I assume you can identify “Section 8’s” on sight.

  23. Alternatively, Wal-Mart also has the kind of bike lock that even bolt cutters can’t cut for only $13. “Kryptonite 4″ x 9″ U-LOCK.” Unfortunately, that still leaves things like the plastic kiddy push-car vulnerable to the thugs.

  24. Ya know, Crap happens! This is 2014 and we live on the outskirts of NEW YORK CITY, where we have a New progressive Mayor who does nothing, but make excuses. And has a creep like Al Sharpton as his “Adviser”

    So lets not be so shocked, over things like this!

  25. As more people raise their houses and create storage below this will make these crimes of opportunity more common. The resident feels like his home is safe but those unsecured lower areas are exposed and very tempting to anyone looking to steal. Since the living space is elevated it is easy to become oblivious to what is happening at street level. But leaving unlocked bikes at beach entrances is inviting trouble. Leaving unlocked bikes anywhere is foolish, East or West End.

  26. Folks, if you believe things are getting worse, then let’s track it and take hard data to the LBPD. So here is what I ask you to do. If you are the victim of a crime of any kind (minor or major), report it to the LBPD and get a police report number. I repeat, REPORT IT TO LBPD AND GET A POLICE REPORT NUMBER. Without a police report number it is not trackable and could be dismissed as an unsubstantiated story. Then email the details (what happened, date, time, location) and the police report number (and a copy of the report if possible) to westendneighbors@outlook.com.

    I will begin to track and compile the data and will keep people abreast of what is being reported via the West End Neighbors Civic Association Facebook page and email newsletter. This way we are tracking actual reported events.

    Regards,

    John Bendo
    President
    West End Neighbors Civic Association

  27. Word has it that the Cabana and Speakeasy were both recently burglarized after-hours. Apparently, local kids were involved. Anyone have any additional information?

  28. BS(Before Sandy) I lived in WE and at the time there was a burglar on the loose(subsequently caught, prosecuted and sent away due to good police work).
    This situation was discussed at length at WENCA meetings and the police sent representatives to talk to the residents.
    At the time there was a Street Crimes Unit led by a policeman named Richard Capuano( I think.)
    He was at the meetings and indicated that the PD would help set up and run neighborhood watch programs but there had to be meaningful participation.
    This effort was widely publicized at WENCA meetings and via their newsletter which was very widely distributed.
    A meeting was scheduled with plenty of advance notice at police headquarters and a grand total of four, or maybe five ,residents appeared.
    This for all of WE in the midst of a burglary spree!
    So the program never was implemented although all in attendance were all given Capuanos email address, phone number etc and some of us helped out on Irish Day by keeping our eyes out for problems.
    Since then the Street Crimes Unit has been disbanded I believe although I’m not sure.
    The point I’m sadly making is that people would rather sit somewhere bloviating online or complaining at meetings rather than help out by doing something concrete like a watch program that has very real benefits.

    So if residents can’t be stirred into action by the threat of a burglar what can be expected of the threat of bicycle thefts?

  29. Beachguy, thanks for sharing the West End history with us. You are right on target regarding the past successful arrest and the need for future community involvement.

    We need to make this City better, not just through blog comments (although many help start healthy discourse), but other actions.

    Follow John Bendo’s suggestion to report West End crimes to the Police and WENCA.

    And get involved at City Council meetings. Last night only I and three others spoke, and one of the three was from out of town. By voicing your thoughts to the City Council things can get done.

  30. Then, at the very minimum, use it as cautionary tale. Have lived in WE for 9 years: Never had anything taken. This past year: multiple things taken. Time to lock up, keep your eyes open, and of course, report any thefts.

  31. John, while I agree that people should report these incidents, I think the LBPD should be releasing data about issues like this. For example, here’s crime stats updated every week for the NYPD broken down by precinct:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_prevention/crime_statistics.shtml

    It’s too easy to cherry pick a few nice stats and throw them into a slideshow and say “look, crime is down”.

    I was wondering where I could find MVA reports for LB when the big topic was resident parking, bicyclists use of roads and pedestrian safety. None of this data seems to be published by the city that I can find.

    That being said, city-data (not sure where they get their numbers from or how reliable) gives the following stats for robberies (per 100,000 population):

    2000 – 32
    2001 – 51
    2004 – 27
    2005 – 30
    2006 – 23
    2007 – 13
    2008 – 6
    2009 – 6
    2011 – 11
    2012 – 14

    Burglaries (per 100k):

    2000 – 62
    2001 – 106
    2004 – 66
    2005 – 30
    2006 – 19
    2007 – 29
    2008 – 23
    2009 – 21
    2011 – 25
    2012 – 66

    Thefts:

    2000 – 387
    2001 – 393
    2004 – 328
    2005 – 281
    2006 – 248
    2007 – 181
    2008 – 229
    2009 – 207
    2011 – 237
    2012 – 236

  32. Just a head’s up to early morning bikers.
    I was riding past Monroe on Broadway about 6 am. Got to the corner and saw a white woman, pony tail, backpack and slowed down thinking she might be crossing. She stayed put.

    As i passed her she grabbed the rear of my bike. Luckily I was able to ride away fast enough. Turned my head and saw her coming after me.
    Thought perhaps there was another person with her at the next corner to get the bike.

    Whether she was trying to make me fall, or grab the bike i’ll never know but just advising early morning bikers to be careful !!!

  33. This is a horrible new level of attempted bike theft- their motives could have been even after more than the bike. I want to write more, but don’t want to distract from this news. THANK YOU ANDY for alerting us to this. The details may take a while to figure out, but at least you got the word out. I never had anything this frightening happen to me around here. We used to worry about thieves brazen from too much beer, hopefully this is not the “new generation” using heroin and “molly” drugs.

  34. Last wk( Sat, Sept. 6) I reported a woman who may have attempted to take my bike or push me down as i rode near Monroe/E. Broadway @ 6 AM. She grabbed at the rear of my bike as I rode by and then ran after me without saying a word.

    I saw the same woman today as i rode on Monroe near Olive. She was following a woman near a car. I rode close enough to watch in case there was any problem (phone in hand). This happened Sunday, Sept . 14 @ approx 7:30 am.
    The woman walking behind the car then continued walking exposing a dog on a leash. The woman folllowing her, then crossed the street heading toward Bway, zig zaging as she was walking. I did not follow her after seeing the dog walker was ok.

    This woman is between 5’2″-5’4″, white, blonde pony tail, chiseled looking face. She was wearing a black jacket, black pants, and had a black backpack with red piping. She’s roughly late 20’s to late 30’s, slender build. People out early need to keep their eyes open.

  35. Good job alerting folks to this suspicious activity. Even if it’s not criminal intent, it sounds like one of our perennial nuts that would be wise to avoid.

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