More details surface in string of Forest Hills burglaries

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Captain Thomas Conforti of the NYPD’s 112th Precinct told the 112th Community Council last Wednesday his officers have uncovered a pattern in a string of burglaries that have been plaguing Forest Hills since September.

While burglary isn’t something unheard of in Forest Hills – there have been 14 burglaries in the neighborhood so far this month – one particular modus operandi has been coming up with notable frequency in recent months.

“This is a very distinct pattern,” Conforti said. “They’re going to the back of the building and climbing up the fire escape.”

In every reported burglary, small items were stolen, according to Conforti. These items include laptops, iPads and jewelry.

In the seven months have passed since the pattern emerged, 27 apartments have been burglarized through open fire escape windows, according to Conforti. In all of these cases, multiple apartments were entered, with as many as seven and as few as three apartments being burglarized in a single day.

One of the challenges in addressing this problem for the 112th Precinct, Conforti told the council, is the infrequency of the incidents.

“What makes it difficult is that it’s not something that happens every day,” Conforti said.

Conforti believes that because his officers have been able to establish a pattern in these burglaries, it could help them thwart this burglar or team of burglars, and they believe another string of burglaries is imminent.

“He’s going to hit us again in a week or so and we have to be prepared,” Conforti said. Still, he added, “I am very confident that in a matter of time we will be able to bring this [to justice].”

Conforti said his best advice is for buildings to install security cameras, for people to remember to lock their windows and for people to be vigilant.

“If you see someone climbing the fire escape, it’s probably them,” Conforti said.

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