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Police Look to Ice Burglars Who Use Open Windows in Overheated Apartments

By Katie Honan | January 22, 2014 3:03pm
 Burglaries are up more than 100 percent in the 110th Precinct this year.
Burglaries are up more than 100 percent in the 110th Precinct this year.
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Flickr/Nick Allen

QUEENS — Burglaries are heating up in the 110th Precinct, fueled in part by residents who leave their windows open to air out their overheated apartments during the cold winter months, according to the local precinct's commanding officer.

The precinct, which covers parts of Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights, saw a more-than-100 percent jump in burglaries over the 28-day period ending Jan. 12 compared with the same period the previous year, from 17 to 35, according to NYPD statistics.

Four burglary patterns have sprung up around the precinct, and most of the suspects have been entering homes and apartments through fire escapes and open windows, according to Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson.

"A lot of times in the apartment buildings you don't control your heat as well, and sometimes you leave your windows open because the apartment heats too much," he said at a recent precinct community council meeting Monday night.

"You have to be careful."

Four apartments were burglarized beginning Dec. 6 on Woodside Avenue near 79th Street in Elmhurst, Leyson said.

In the second pattern, three homes were broken into on Dec. 27 on Van Cleef Street near 51st Avenue in Corona — and another burglary last week on 56th Avenue might be part of the pattern, Leyson said.

Two other break-ins — at 94th Street and 54th Avenue and 112th Street near 48th Avenue on Dec. 27 and 28 — are also being investigated as part of a third pattern.

And another suspect burglarized three apartments in the same building on St. James Street near 86th Street on Jan. 8, but fled from police, Leyson said.

Most of the burglaries are happening in the late afternoon into early evening, he said.

The jump comes after a year that saw a decrease in burglaries, he said.

There were 279 reported burglaries in the precinct in 2013, down from 315 in 2012, according to NYPD statistics.