Burglary spree has Greenburgh residents on edge

January 4, 2010 2:50:48 PM PST
There are concerns about safety in one community in Westchester. And police are meeting with residents Monday to try to calm their fears. Crime has been on the rise in Greenburgh, specifically in the neighborhood of Edgemont.

"This used to be a very, very safe community," homeowner Kathleen Mahoney said. "We never had a problem with break-ins. In fact, I raised three kids here and we used to leave our doors open all the time."

Apparently those days are over. An average of one break-in a month over the last three years has homeowners worried and frustrated. Furthermore, says the police chief, an unrelated home invasion last month has raised the anxiety to a new level.

"What has been a concern with those burglaries is that they have actually set an alarm off, run in, know where to to go, get jewelry and run out, knowing that there is a little bit of a delay time," Chief Joseph DeCarlo said. "That is something that is new, that we're concerned about.'

The Edgemont Community Council hopes Chief DeCarlo can calm the fears and answer some questions during a council meeting Monday. Homeowners say their taxes have soared in the last five years, while police resources have declined.

"We pay more property taxes than most anyone in the county of Westchester, and yet during the same period of time, we've had a 7 percent reduction in police manpower," Community Councilman Bob Bernstein said. "That's unacceptable."

The chief says he has increased police patrols in Edgemont, as well as the number of plainclothes officers. Resident Nineteen year resident Steve Schoenfeld hopes to hear more details at the meeting.

"I want to hear what's going on," he said. "Pretty much hear what other people in the community have to say, see if there is anything surprising or if there is anything I can add to it."