WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Vandals have gone on a car-smashing spree on Fort George Hill in recent weeks, breaking the windows of nearly two dozen vehicles and leading local politicians to call for more surveillance in the area.
At least 20 cars on the road had their windows smashed but no property taken over the past three weeks, a rampage that police attributed to youth mischief, the NYPD said.
No arrests have been made in the string of smashings.
Residents and community leaders put the number of cars vanadalized at approximately 40, saying many of the incidents were not reported to police.
“It’s horrible,” said local activist Roberto de LaRosa, 56, “and the police are doing nothing about it.”
Fort George Hill has very little traffic and few cameras, an issue state Sen. Adriano Espaillat addressed during a press conference on the crime spree Thursday.
“The area needs higher surveillance,” he said. “There’s been a negligence with security.”
But police said they are patrolling the area and noted that the number of arrests across all major crimes categories is up 30 percent in the area.
“It’s all the same problem,” Deputy Inspector Chris Morello, commanding officer of the 34th Precinct, said of car vandalism and actual break-ins. “There’s no one there at night, and cars are left unattended.”
Police did arrest a 57-year-old for breaking into a car in Forth George Hill on Oct. 24, the NYPD said, but it wasn't clear if the incident was related to the smashings.
“This is a hardworking community,” Espaillat said, calling on residents to report these incidents to police first before contacting their insurance companies. “And this is an inconvenience.”