Suffolk County police are searching for four men who painted antisemitic messages inside a building on the former Dowling College campus in Oakdale.
In a separate incident, four teens have been arrested and charged with vandalizing a building on the campus on Wednesday, police said.
Neighbors of the vacant college campus said Friday that break-ins, vandalism and other incidents continue to be a weekly or even daily nuisance despite the efforts of police and a neighborhood watch group to deter trespassers.
The property's owner, Mercury International, a subsidiary of a Beijing-based investment firm, has reduced security measures at the Idle Hour Boulevard property over the past two years, said Maryann Almes, president of the Oakdale Historical Society.
Mercury International purchased the Dowling property out of bankruptcy for $26.1 million in 2017 with stated plans to turn it into an unspecified educational facility, but has not submitted plans for future uses with Islip Town.
"It's an ongoing issue,” Almes said of security, adding that the campus no longer is lit at night. “There is no protection at all for that building. …They are doing absolutely nothing to protect this property. It’s a sitting duck.”
Mike Burke, a member of Oakdale community watch, praised police for frequently patrolling the property and responding to community concerns. But round-the-clock security on the site is "nonexistent," he said.
“There’s a police presence multiple times there every day," Burke said. "The Suffolk County Police Department has been especially cooperative and helpful and doing the best they can under their rules and regulations.”
Don Cook, the Dowling site's Huntington-based property manager, did not respond to a call seeking comment.
Islip Town spokeswoman Caroline Smith referred questions to Suffolk police.
In the Wednesday incident, police said the teens broke a window at the Racanelli Learning Resource Center at about 1 p.m., entered the building and then damaged and took property before fleeing.
Police said Friday a painting was stolen but provided no additional details.
Arrested were three 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old.
Police said an 18-year-old from Brentwood and an 18-year-old from Patchogue were arrested at their homes Thursday. Both were charged with third-degree criminal trespass. The third 18-year-old, from East Patchogue, was arrested at his home on Friday and was charged with third-degree burglary, police said. The 19-year-old, of Patchogue, surrendered to the Fifth Precinct Thursday night, police said. He also was charged with third-degree burglary.
Police on Friday requested the public's help in finding four men caught on video scrawling antisemitic slogans inside an unidentified Dowling building. That incident occurred between May 25 and 29 and was reported to police Tuesday, police said.
Suffolk Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to an arrest, police said. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 800-220-8477.
Fifth Squad detectives are asking anyone with information regarding the Wednesday incident to contact them at 631-854-8552.
With John Valenti