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Mount Pleasant Briefed on Local Burglaries

VALHALLA, N.Y. – Suspects connected with the recent home burglaries in Hawthorne have not been arrested, but Police Sgt. Art Romaine announced to residents Wednesday night that the Mount Pleasant Police Department has them on its radar.

“We know who they are, absolutely,” Romaine said.  “We’re confident we’re going to catch them.”

Dozens of residents packed the town hall court room in Valhalla Wednesday for a neighborhood watch meeting called for by the police department.  Romaine, along with Detective Marco Mendoza, fielded questions from residents while also providing them with tips and advice on how to deter individuals from burglarizing their homes or cars.  Last week, two homes on Astor Avenue in Hawthorne were burglarized by a forced entry, with another attempted burglary on Belmont Road.

The officers said that although they believe these three incidents are connected, burglaries are not on the rise this year and most are accounted for.

“We’ve had 21 reported burglaries this year and all but three of them we either resolved or have determined a suspect,” Mendoza said.

Romaine said the best way to stop home burglaries is to develop neighborhood watch groups throughout the town that can report suspicious activity to the police.  Hawthorne resident Jackie Picchione is a member of one watch group near her home and said she isn’t worried about local crime.

“I feel fairly safe in town but I think tonight was really effective in letting us know what we could do to protect our homes,” Picchione said.

Romaine and Mendoza said simple steps such as leaving lights or a radio on while the house is unoccupied and locking doors and windows at all times can deter a burglary from occurring.

“Most burglars are not violent and when they are confronted by something they’re out of there,” Romaine said.

Mike Uzovich of Hawthorne said the tips were simple, yet useful.

“A lot of the stuff that you can do to prevent it is common sense,” Uzovich said.  “But it can’t hurt to refresh.”

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