MINEOLA (WABC) -- Nassau County is seeing a sharp decline in the crimes since the introduction of a new task force designed to break up burglary rings.
And Eyewitness News got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what they're doing to prevent crime, as well as steps you can take to be more likely to get your stuff back if it's ever stolen.
Pawn shop inspections are just part of a relatively new battle that Nassau County police believe they are winning against burglars, and it's fought step by step with officers looking for any patterns they can find.
"Luxury watches, like Rolexes, especially if we see a lot of it being sold at one particular place or one particular time," said Detective Thomas Calvert, of Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence.
A shop owner who was not cited for any violation allowed us to take video of him and his store in order to explain how the system is supposed to work. Whenever goods are sold to pawn shops, by law, shop owners are supposed to hold onto it for at least 15 days.
"And that gives us our window to find out if something is stolen or not," Calvert said.
Burglaries in Nassau County spiked last year, prompting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter to start the new task force with five members dedicated solely to the problem.
"There's not a lot of things more invasive and more horrifying than someone breaking into your house," Krumpter said. "We finished last year 17 percent down in burglaries, so in the last seven months, we've swung the residential burglary numbers by 47 percent."
Two suspects who were arrested in November are believed to be responsible for at least 40 burglaries across Nassau, New York City and New Jersey, and the task force is credited with closing out at least 29 different burglary patterns so far this year.
At least 50 people who are accused in hundreds of burglaries have been arrested, and everything from handbags and jewelry to computers have been confiscated. Authorities advise recording the serial numbers of your valuables and taking pictures of them. And if anything is yours, they'd love to get it back to you.
"I personally gave a woman $70,000 earrings back in Manhasset years ago, and I still get a card from her," Deputy Inspector Kenneth Catalani said.
And they hope to keep chipping away at a problem that has aggravated homeowners for years. null
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