Vandals swipe car mirrors in Pelham Gardens

Residents of Pelham Parkway are furious over the constant theft of side view mirrors, forcing them to use tactics, such as removing their own mirrors at night, to prevent future vandalism. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Mirror, mirror, where’d you go? Members of the Pelham Parkway community have seen a recent increase in the amount of side view mirrors vandalized.

Residents are finding the glass of their car mirrors removed when getting ready to leave for work, most often on Monday mornings.

One couple, had the incident occur on two consecutive Mondays, reporting it to the police each time and costing them over $ 200 for replacements.

“All of a sudden we come out on a Monday, and we noticed the mirrors are missing, and it happened again the following Monday,” said Steve Park. “We have a crisis going on and we are not the only ones in the neighborhood.”

Another local resident of 14 years, Valerie Rodriguez, has had her side view mirrors stolen twice, her car broken into once, and her windshield broken once over the last seven months.

“I never had any problems until recently,” said Rodriguez. “The most recent incident was about two weeks ago. They don’t steal anything, they just vandalized the car.”

Some residents have taken to removing their own mirrors each night while the car is parked.

“It’s ridiculous. We took the mirrors off and received a ticket for not having mirrors on the car while it was parked,” said Steve Park.

The summons was dismissed, and the couple continues to remove their mirrors as a precaution.

Vinny Prezioso, president of the Northeast Bronx Association and member of Community Board 11, reports that in recent months the organization has noticed the thefts occurring more commonly from Fish Avenue to Eastchester Road.

“It’s not only mirrors we are noticing, but cars being stripped and dumped in the neighborhood,” said Prezioso. “I have my patrol going round the area, but you have to be in the right place at the right time to catch them because it only takes a few seconds to remove a mirror.”

According to Captain John Greeley of the 49th Precinct, arrests have been made in the past and they are doing all they can to target the area and increase anti-crime units.

“We are targeting people who have done it in past, visiting them and hopefully that will slow it down,” said Greeley. “This is a quality of life thing and we are putting officers in that area.”

Local residents however remain discouraged, with several indicating the desire to move out of the area as a result of the constant vandalism.

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