Robberies, burglaries on the rise in Windsor Terrace
When Abi Atiae came to his newly opened restaurant one mid-November morning, he found its glass door broken. Some one had struck the glass and broken into his Mediterranean restaurant.
There was blood on the door, the floor and the cashier. All the cash, mostly change, had disappeared from the cashier. He had only closed the glass door the previous night, because the rolling overhead door was stuck.
“I never imagined they would break into,” said Atiae, sitting in his quiet vegetarian Hummus Garden at 3012 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn.
“It’s just a restaurant, not a diamond store.”
The thieves, as he believed to be more than one, took away more than $200, which he said was not a big deal. But it was a bad feeling to see his business burglarized after its inauguration, he said.
The burglary happened just two weeks after Atiae opened the restaurant, his second in the city.
Windsor Terrace, a quiet family-oriented neighborhood in central Brooklyn, has seen an increasing number of burglaries and robberies this year. This startles its residents who have been carefree about its safe environment.
There have been three robberies on Prospect Park West Avenue, the neighborhood’s commercial area, at night in recent months, said Charlie O’Donnell, a retired NYPD detective and member of the Community District’s public safety committee. In one case, the robber took a mobile phone and ran away, he said.
“The kids are from outside the neighborhood,” he said.
“They come into an area like this and figure it’s easy to pick things. They hit and run. It’s easy to escape because of the pedestrian traffic, the subway here, or the park,” he said, referring to the nearby Prospect Park.
Statistics by Precinct 72, which patrols the neighborhood, confirm a rise in burglaries and robberies. There were 17 reported burglaries in the area as of Dec. 1 so far this year, a rise of 42 percent from the same period last year.
The number of robberies rose 58 percent to 19 cases, the Precinct said.
But the statistics do not necessarily show a trend of rising crime in the neighborhood, said community officer Dean Hanan at Precinct 72.
“Possibly people report more often – we have more reports made by cooperative victims and witnesses,” he said.
The office of Councilman Brad Lander, who represents the neighborhood among others, said it has not heard about any crime wave in the area either. But retired detective O’Donnell said he believes more robberies and burglaries in Windsor Terrace will happen if public safety is not tightened.
“We’re gonna see an upswing of this type of thing in the neighborhood. Why? Because they think they can get away with it or have a better chance to do it.”
The police have taken the blood in Atiae’s restaurant for a DNA test. But he did not pay close attention to the investigation results.
It is better to safeguard his own restaurant first, he said. He has fixed the rolling door and had a camera installed at his restaurant.