On edge and in search of answers, Town of Oyster Bay residents along Hempstead Harbor are coming together after a yearlong string of unsolved home burglaries in their communities.
Since last March, 21 similar break-ins have been reported in Glen Head, Sea Cliff and Glenwood Landing, according to Nassau County police. More than half occurred in November and December. After a six-week break, the burglaries resumed in late February.
"For anyone who has been a victim, it's a been a feeling that's never left them," said Susan Wiedmer, a Glenwood Landing resident who said her home was burglarized New Year's Day.
She helped organize Wednesday night's meeting at North Shore High School to discuss the issue with representatives of the Nassau police Sixth Precinct and Oyster Bay Public Safety Department.
"They all seem to be pretty localized," Det. Lt. Kevin Smith said of the burglaries. "It almost makes you wonder if the person is a member of the community."
The thief generally strikes during the day and early evening, targeting unoccupied homes with unlocked windows and doors, police said. In some cases, however, entry has been forced.
"We just want to know, 'Is there something we all should be doing?' " said Robin Appel, a Glen Head resident whose home was the most recent reported burglary, on Feb. 18. "We want answers."
No injuries have been reported. Jewelry and cash are the most commonly stolen items -- items burglars "can put in their pocket and walk around the neighborhood unnoticed," Smith said, adding that the thief may be looking for things to pawn.
The crimes differ from a series of home invasions in Great Neck and Kings Point where the suspect targeted occupied homes and confronted female residents, but did not take anything from the homes, police said.
Smith encouraged residents to promptly report suspicious behavior in their neighborhoods. "We've had people wait two weeks" before reporting the crime to police, he said.
Tips may be directed to Nassau police at 800-244-8477.