Is Bay Ridge backsliding to the bad old days?
Residents are demanding the 68th Precinct deploy more officers to patrol Shore Road in response to a slew of recent tire-and-rim thefts. Police sent out more plainclothes officers in March to crack down on the ride raiders, but that did not put much of a dent in the thieves’ ambitions, said one local.
“The police need to step it up,” said Joe Mullaney, a lifelong Ridgite who regularly parks along Shore Road. “They’ve become more brazen. It’s definitely more frequent, I’d say I see one car on cinder blocks with no wheels a week.”
Still, precinct brass feels the situation is improving, a community affairs officer said. Up to five plainclothes officers are roaming the three-mile stretch on any given shift — that’s in addition to the usual patrol — and police point a recent lack of reports as a sign of progress, he said.
But many Ridgites don’t bother filing a police report due to the hassle, so the full extent of the issue remains unclear, according to Community Board 10 district manager Josephine Beckmann.
“Often times, I’ve spoken to people who’ve just replaced it and didn’t want to deal with it,” said Beckmann. “The challenge is making the police aware of it, and it’s hard to do that when reports are not being filed.”
The thieves are targeting Japanese cars — predominantly Hondas and Toyotas — along Shore Road, according to police. And the verdant stretch is convenient for crooks for whom park foliage provides cover to do their dastardly deeds, said one local.
“It’s quiet and dark down there,” said Joe Domante, who lives in Bay Ridge and parks his car in the area. “It’s a perfect spot for them.”
There may be a lack of reports, but Ridgites are quick to document and circulate photos of cars marooned on concrete blocks on social media. And residents have complained to the community board about the thefts as recently as Aug. 24, Beckmann said.