Mineola residents on Horton Highway have become disturbed following reported burglaries on the block and concerned about safety in the neighborhood.
Reportedly on Saturday, September 29 at 3 p.m., a resident had two men cut a screen door on a home and attempted to kick a door down before they were spotted by a neighbor. The men then reportedly went to another home down further toward the hospital and were successful in breaking in at 4 p.m., making off with valuables and cash.
“That robbery in broad daylight really disturbed me,” resident Matt Altemis said during a meeting of the Mineola Village Board on October 3 at the village hall, saying that he had been looking to join the auxiliary police but also that patrols could be increased. “Because we have this increased traffic and maybe having the auxiliary presence in the town might act as more of a deterrent for these folks that would just come in the middle of the day and feel as comfortable as they did to kick someone’s front door down.”
Mayor Scott Strauss said that he would reach out to the Third Precinct about increasing patrols in the area but also encouraged any resident wishing to join the auxiliary police department to reach out to the department in order to obtain information about joining.
“We all know that it’s a little tougher in your neighborhood because you live so close to the hospital that you’ve got a lot more traffic, a lot more people coming and going than the average neighborhood or block,” the mayor said. “But if you see something – and we’ve heard it 1,000 times – if you see something, say something. If you see something, call. Be a good witness, grab a license plate, write it down if you catch it.”
A woman who owns the corner house on Jefferson Avenue and Horton Highway said that she would like to have a street light installed at the corner.
“I’m scared, it’s dark,” she said.
Altemis also suggested a community watch group be formed by the residents in the area.
“It might be a good time to think about a community watch effort or program that we all take an active role in looking out and being aware of what’s happening because we want to be proactive,” he said, asking that the village also increase parking enforcement around the hospital on weekends.
“We do have code enforcement people out,” Strauss said, noting that the village is looking to hire an additional officer. “The police are out, whether or not they’re available, not handling calls for service... I’ll put that on the list of content to have a conversation with the commander of the Third Precinct.”