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Police step up security in Sandy-hit areas of Staten Island

June 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 17 (UPI) -- New York City police have increased their presence in some Staten Island areas still effected by Hurricane Sandy in an effort to curb looting, officials said.

Police have focused on the neighborhoods Ocean Breeze, Midland Beach and an area of Oakwood around Cedar Grove Beach, which still have vacant homes, the Staten Island Advance reported Monday.

"We've revamped it now -- we have 10 cars per night in the hurricane zone, and in certain strategic areas where I think it's a good spot, we have officers fixed in their [marked patrol cars]," four in total, Deputy Inspector Joseph Veneziano said. "And I want them to stay right there to see who's coming and going from the neighborhood.

"With that I think we have the neighborhood covered pretty well. I mean, nothing is ever foolproof ... . We can always change our plan, put people in different places."

The new security measures came in response to a series of break-ins Ocean Breeze and Midland Beach that left some residents setting booby traps. New copper pipes and construction tools have been among items stolen.

"We figure we have it solved. We have the collars, we have people arrested on what we think was the pattern of burglaries going on," Veneziano said. "But then the very next week we get hit again in the Ocean Breeze area, and this time they weren't taking the copper pipe, they were taking the tools basically from contractors who were working in the area."

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