Approximately 11 crimes were reported - many of which took place while the victims were in their homes – in the vicinity of Furmanville Avenue between 76th and 78th streets. Some of the break-ins also occurred on Juniper Valley Road.
Brooklyn resident Michael Watts, 37, was arrested for four burglaries in Middle Village, while Middle Village resident John Lease, 21, was arrested with three juvenile accomplices in unrelated heist. All were charged with burglary, according to the 104th Precinct.
Meanwhile, three individuals were arrested for a burglary in Glendale with the assistance of a Glendale resident. The arrested individuals were identified as Jonathan Rios, 29, James Jenkins, 21, and Calvin Covington, 45.
Police say unlocked doors and windows in the normally quiet community provided easy access for the thieves, and vacant houses due to summer vacationing also aided in the spree.
Captain Christopher Manson of the 104th Precinct said some break-ins could have been avoided.
“If you have valuables, be careful and just keep them out of the house,” Manson said, saying that some people often leave an upwards of $16,000 in their dresser drawers. “That’s what safe deposit boxes are for and that’s what bank accounts are for.”
He added that residents going away on vacation should put their lights on timing systems and avoid leaving an easy access point for criminals.
“People who own ladders, don’t leave them in the back yard,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many burglaries we’ve had where the person walks into the backyard, puts the ladder up to the second floor and they go right up and burglarize the house.”
Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, said the civic is in talks with the Queens district attorney and the 104th Precinct to create a block watch and civilian patrol to focus on petty crime.
“The cops did catch most of them and the captain promised to keep it up, but we have to lock everything and not keep our windows open when we sleep at night,” he said.
Although many in the community are sleeping more soundly this month, residents across the borough have taken the warnings seriously and are prepared.
“This does not mean we should put down our guard,” said Glendale Civic Association President Kathy Masi. “What happens in Middle Village usually happens in Glendale, and we are making efforts to stay safe.”