In the early morning hours on Saturday, several glass doors were smashed and some property stolen from three businesses near each other in the Pelham Parkway neighborhood stoking fears from area residents.
According to the NYPD, at approximately 2:24 a.m. on the morning of July 15, the glass vestibule at Chase Bank at 2126 White Plains Road was smashed, but nothing was stolen. At the nearby Planet Fitness gym, the door was also smashed and an iPad was stolen from someone standing outside near the gym. And at a restaurant in that same vicinity on Lydig Road, the front door was smashed and three electronic tablets were stolen.
Police arrested Steven Santana, 25, of the Allerton neighborhood in the Bronx later that morning. As the alleged perpetrator in all three incidents, Santana faces several charges, including burglary, criminal mischief, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Vince Butler, manager of the White Plains Road Planet Fitness, told the Bronx Times that in the neighborhood, “Crime has picked up.”
He said the alarm system was not activated when the July 15 break-in occurred, but the company now plans to keep it constantly activated. Butler also said that four or five months ago, the gym stopped operating 24 hours a day due to concerns for customer and employee safety.
While no one was injured during last weekend’s smash and grabs, some residents are concerned about the growing trend of burglaries, drug sale and use, property damage and loitering in the area.
Local resident Roxanne Delgado, founder of the neighborhood group Friends of Pelham Parkway, told the Bronx Times that the White Plains Road commercial corridor has been an area of concern for the past two years.
“People no longer feel safe to shop in their local stores,” she said, noting that Friends of Pelham Parkway has been in frequent contact with the 49th Precinct over public safety but feel their concerns about the business corridor have not been fully addressed.
“When you ignore a problem for too long, it just continues growing,” said Delgado.
According to July NYPD Compstat data, burglary in the 49th Precinct is up 77% over 2022 numbers from the same timeframe. The precinct saw 11 burglaries the week of July 10-16, and 131 in total so far this year.
Santana is due to appear in Bronx Criminal Court on Aug. 22.
Chase Bank told the Bronx Times that they are aware of the incident and working with law enforcement. The White Plains Road Business Improvement District declined to comment.
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