QUEENS — Burglaries in Forest Hills have jumped a whopping 90 percent over the same time last year, fueled in part by a new rash of break-ins in which jewelry and cash were taken, police said.
The burglary spree started in late February and ran through St. Patrick’s Day, during which thieves stole mostly cash and jewelry from nine houses between Metropolitan Avenue and Fleet Street, and between 69th and 71st avenues, according to Capt. Thomas Conforti, the commanding office of the 112th Precinct.
After the cops increased their presence in the area, the break-ins stopped for almost a month.
But on Saturday, April 13, the burglars hit again, breaking into three houses on Kessel, Exeter and Loubet streets and taking jewels and cash, according to police sources.
Then they struck again this Saturday. According to the source, they broke into one house in the area and stole at least two pieces of jewelry. After that, they tried to get into another home but were not able to gain entry.
Burglaries have become a significant problem in the neighborhood this year. As of April 14, there had been 53 break-ins in the 112th Precinct. It's a 90 percent increase over the same period last year, when there had been 28 burglaries.
In the most recent 28-day period, ending April 14, burglaries are up 600 percent compared to the same period last year.
Police are asking the public to call 911 to report any suspicious activity in the area. It is not clear how many suspects cops are searching for or their descriptions.
The 112th Precinct, which organized a highly attended community meeting to discuss the burglaries on April 2, is planning to organize three more gatherings in various areas of Forest Hills and Rego Park to address the issue.
"We want people to be aware of their surroundings," said Heidi Chain, president of the 112th Precinct Community Council.
"We want people to know that there are steps that they can and should take in their residences," she added. "We want to encourage people to report if they are a victim of a crime. We want to be able to educate members of our community so that they can be safer."
The precinct will soon announce specific dates and locations of the planned meetings.