Brazen burglars bagged thousands of dollars of computer and video game equipment from the Eastchester Gardens Community Center late on Wednesday, December 30.
The crooks broke a window to the center’s computer room, knocked down security cameras and ripped out a phone line, said Keith Ramsey, resident council president at the public housing development.
“A damn shame,” Ramsey said. “We think they stole $5,000 to $8,000 of equipment.”
The center is popular among schoolchildren, basketball players and Eastchester Gardens seniors but has endured a period of transition. In February 2009, the New York City Housing Authority, unable to close an enormous budget deficit, ceded temporary operation of the center to the city Department of Youth and Community Development and Mosholu Montefiore Community Center.
In November 2009, DYCD chose Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation to run the center. December 30 was Mosholu Montefiore’s final day at Eastchester Gardens, Ramsey said. NIDC started on Monday, January 4, executive director William Foster said.
The burglary occurred at 10:30 p.m. and was reported at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 31, a Police Department spokeswoman said. At least two laptop computers and two computer monitors were nabbed, she added.
Ramsey found three broken windowpanes, he said. Basketball equipment and two Nintendo Wii video game systems also disappeared, Ramsey said.
An investigation is ongoing, 49th Precinct Captain John Greeley said.
“We’re saddened by this event,” Foster said. “But we look forward to building a center that [Eastchester Gardens residents] feel as if they own. We’re working closely with NYCHA and DYCD to ensure the security of the center.”
Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 742-3383 or dbeekman@c
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