For weeks, Pelham Gardens residents had to make sure their doors were locked as a young thief preyed on the neighborhood.
Vincent Allen, who had moved into the neighborhood on Monday, August 1, began a four week house robbing spree before the burglary specialists of the 49th Precinct were able to track him down.
On Wednesday, August 31, officers Eric Montalvo, Roam Louis, and Farrell Goldman caught the 19-year-old entering a house on Westervelt Avenue between Waring and Mace avenues.
Officers eventually caught and arrested Allen on the corner of Bantem Place and Eastchester Road. He was later identified for robberies that had occurred two weeks earlier on 1110 Adee Avenue and 2426 Seymour Avenue.
According to 4-9 Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson, Allen moved in with his sister, a Pelham Gardens resident, and allegedly began striking the private homes as early as Tuesday, August 2.
“We don’t need this in our neighborhood, nobody does,” said Waring Avenue resident and Community Board 11 member Tony Vitaliano. “This kid moves into our area and just starts robbing houses like it was his job. The 49th Precinct did an excellent job in tracking him down and making sure that he was arrested as quickly as possible.”
Vitaliano said Nicholson had notified him about Allen during a meeting and assured him that he was already identified and that officers were in pursuit of him.
According to Nicholson, Allen would steal a variety of items such as electronics, but his specialty was jewelry. Although he was confirmed for three of the robberies, it is believed that he is connected to an additional three that also occurred in the neighborhood.
Allen is currently being held on $8,000 bail. Nicholson said that Allen told officers he would sell the stolen items so that he could purchase drugs, and that stealing in Pelham Gardens was easy “because everybody kept their doors unlocked.”
Vitaliano, who lives down the street from the house on Westervelt Avenue where officers spotted Allen the day of the arrest, was relieved to know he was arrested and has not been released yet.
“The man who lives in that house is a good friend of mine, and luckily nothing was stolen from him,” Vitaliano said. “After I found out, I called the Inspector (Nicholson) and he assured me that the arrest was made.”
©2011 Community News Group