Burglar hits upscale Long Island homes

June 16, 2008 4:49:42 PM PDT
Another so-called ninja burglar is hitting homes in our area. This time, it's on Long Island. The thief is striking only upscale homes and has hauled away $1.5 million worth of stolen property from at least 18 estates in villages featured on annual lists of the nation's wealthiest towns. Police call the burglar a sneak thief, meaning he doesn't want a confrontation. And they say they hate to call him a professional, but say to pull these types of crimes off is a feat in itself.

The multi-million-dollar homes are people's castles or dream homes, and now some who live in them are on edge.

"This is my home," one neighbor said. "The place you're supposed to be safest."

The criminal daringly scales the houses and shimmies into second-floor windows, taking off with safety deposit boxes loaded with cash and jewels.

So far, the suspect has managed to get inside nearly two dozen houses without setting off a single alarm system.

Each time the so-called cat thief hits, a homeowner is out about $100,000 in valuables.

Cops say the robberies have happened over the past year in Hewlett Harbor and neighboring places, all some of the poshest areas of Long Island.

To get away with burglarizing homes like these, police say it has to be someone who is highly skilled in being elusive and daredevil-ish. They say it's also someone who seems to want only the best.

Authorities are asking people to be extra vigilant and call police if they see anything suspicious. They also say people should not keep valuables in their bedrooms, because that is the first place most burglars go.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News Long Island reporter Emily Smith