STATEN ISLAND — The NYPD has beefed up their presence in Hurricane Sandy damaged neighborhoods in Staten Island, because of looters who nabbed materials from homes being rebuilt, commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Monday.
At a boat-naming ceremony in Brooklyn, Kelly said that homeowners in Staten Island have had their new appliances and copper pipes taken from their homes being rebuilt post-Sandy.
“This a post-Sandy phenomenon,” Kelly said. “We've seen people who are having their homes rebuilt and obviously new appliances are brought in, copper is brought in. We've had instances where this has been stolen. We have additional patrols there covering the area.”
Kelly did not say which specific neighborhoods had gotten the increased presence, but residents in New Dorp Beach and Midland Beach have previously complained of looters breaking into homes.
“There’s a lot of looting in the neighborhood,” Aiman Youssef, 42, organizer of the Midland Avenue Neighborhood Relief Center, told DNAinfo New York previously. “There’s a lot of thefts going on day after day.”
Youssef said the neighborhoods needed an increase in police officers, and started a neighborhood watch to help patrol in April, after a $1,600 stereo was taken from his relief center.
At the conference, Kelly said police are doing everything they can to tamp down the crime in the neighborhoods.
“We're aware of the problem. We are concerned about the problem,” he said. “Obviously, the people have gone through so much and to then have your material that you're repairing your home stolen is terrible for them.”