VILLAGE OF EAST SYRACUSE – As addressed in a notice posted on the home page of the village website, East Syracuse recently witnessed an uptick in vehicle and property burglaries.
Though similar spikes have come about in previous years around this time according to Mayor Robert Tackman, he said a string of five separate larcenies over the span of a single night late this past June sparked attention online and prompted a number of public comments.
In four of the five occurrences, which all transpired within a couple of blocks, cars were broken into and belongings inside them were stolen. The fifth case involved the snatching of a set of keys from an unlocked home and the subsequent theft of one of the cars in its driveway.
“We call them crimes of opportunity,” Town of DeWitt Police Lt. Jerry Pace said. “It’s not a calculated thing, even though it is a more serious crime when you’re stealing an actual car rather than just the earbuds in the passenger seat.”
Tackman said the perpetrators behind such crimes tend to hop from neighborhood to neighborhood, hitting one or a few properties on a given street before fleeing the scene.
Pace said the ensuing investigations have not confirmed yet whether those larcenies were isolated or part of a spree carried out by a group of connected people.
Based on his experience, the lieutenant said that offenders involved in such disturbances so early in the summer have often been juveniles ranging in age from 12 to 18.
He posits that troublemakers of this sort show routine disrespect for their neighbors and lack proper supervision, while the warmer weather and conclusion of school until September gives way to them being out and about looking for something to do in the first place.
On July 10, the East Syracuse neighborhood watch held a morning forum in Ellis Field Park about the night of five larcenies and the ongoing thefts that have occurred lately not only in the village but in other parts of the town and Onondaga County.
The mayor said the village is working with its legal team and the DeWitt Police Department to find both immediate and long-term solutions to the issue.
These potential solutions include outreach programs headed by the parks department and police that would, through fun activities, cultivate friendly interaction between officers and local teenagers or young adults.
The DeWitt Police Department is also looking to add bicycle patrols to its operation for accessibility and tactical purposes.
Pace encourages residents to always lock their doors and first-floor windows at night, since burglars are looking for easy access.
He said other preventative methods include keeping outside lights on and leaving valuable items out of plain view if left in unattended vehicles.
Tackman said that 911 should be called right away if any suspicious activity is spotted, no matter the time of day.