Car vandals smash, grab and run away
By Ashley Helms
Residents from North Riverdale to central Riverdale were shaken when they awoke Monday morning to find that their cars had been broken into and ransacked on Riverdale Avenue, just steps away from the College of Mount St. Vincent, and at the Imperial garage at 3950 Blackstone Ave.
At least two of them said they have experienced more than one car break-in over the last few years and expressed displeasure with the way the 50th Precinct has handled the crimes.
At the garage, attached to the Imperial apartment building, resident George Golden, 69, said his car and three others were discovered to have been broken into at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. Mr. Golden said the passenger side window of his BMW had been smashed and a roll of quarters and a radar detector were stolen.
Security cameras had been installed within the last year — after another car was broken into — Mr. Golden said, but on Monday, the cameras did not appear to be working when he approached the security office.
“What worries several of us is that if they got away with it, they will do it again,” Mr. Golden said.
After he called the police to make a report, Mr. Golden said he had to ask the officers for their names because they did not introduce themselves on their own. He said he was instructed to call the precinct on Tuesday for a complaint number and was unsatisfied with the way police had classified the crime.
“They said the crime is criminal mischief, but they broke into my car. That’s more than mischief. It’s destruction of property and a personal assault,” Mr. Golden said.
On Riverdale Avenue, another set of car owners discovered damaged cars and stolen property.
While walking his dog Monday morning, Riverdale Avenue resident John Lynch said he discovered the passenger side window of his 2014 Jeep Patriot had been broken. The perpetrators got away with his GPS and a few dollars after entering the vehicle through the broken window, Mr. Lynch said.
“I had a leather jacket and stuff to clean off snow in the car too. It seems like they just broke in quickly and got out,” he added.