Residents: Mirror thefts spike in Indian Village

The side-view mirror bandits in Morris Park are back in action, say neighbors. Here, an example of the aftermath or a mirror theft from April.
Courtesy Peter Enea

Car mirror swiping bandits have struck once again in a section of Morris Park, say angry neighbors — but according to local police nearly nothing happened.

Locals in Indian Village — the cozy network of streets in the shadow of Jacobi Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine — say that thieves stripped side-view mirrors off of at least a dozen vehicles parked on side streets during the last month, including Seminole Road and Narragansett and Rheinlander avenues.

But many of the alleged victims are not fed up enough, it appears, to file a report at the local stationhouse. Cops at the 49th Precinct said that only a handful of mirror thefts have been reported during the last month.

Over the July 4 weekend, no reports of mirror thefts were filed anywhere in the precinct, said crime prevention officer Tyrone Mederos.

Without reports, he added, the police cannot allocate any resources to combat a possible mirror theft spree.

“No manpower will be allocated unless it is on file,” said Mederos. “As far as the NYPD is concerned, nothing happened.”

Locals have long griped that car break-ins are an unfortunate part of life in the neighborhood. Police have urged locals in both the 49th and neighboring 45th precincts to lock their car doors to protect themselves from bandits.

But this summer, say locals, the mirror thefts have come in bunches.

At least 10 vehicles were stripped of their side-view mirrors in Indian Village during the night of Saturday, April 26 and early morning Sunday, April 27, said locals Peter Enea and Joe Reda, the public safety chair of the local community board.

Some locals do not bother filing a police report because the cost of the mirrors is below the amount that their insurance covers, said Steve DeMartis, an Indian Village local who has been tallying the damage.

“People aren’t filing because they are paying no matter what,” said DeMartis. “The stats simply are not there for the crimes that are happening.”

DeMartis said he counted at least a dozen vehicles in late June whose mirrors were stolen in his neighborhood.

One area car owner, who lives on Narragansett Avenue but asked not be named, had an even rougher time of it than most. Two days after bandits swiped one mirror of his Acura MDX parked in front of his house, he received a $45 dollar ticket from traffic police for having “missing equipment.”

“I was so aggravated,” he said. “This is just crazy! I’m getting hit from both sides.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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