BAY RIDGE — Car vandalism is on the rise in Bay Ridge, according to locals, police and elected officials, much to the frustration of residents.
Bay Ridge resident Gale Young was recently a victim. She found out on Wednesday that perps had keyed her car doors and slashed her tires.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was outside talking to some neighbors and one of them mentioned that cars along Narrows in the mid 80s had been vandalized,” said Young, who lives near 87th Street and Shore Road.
Because Young rarely parks in that area, she thought her vehicle was safe. The damage was on the passenger side of the car, so Young didn’t see it immediately.
“I got inside, got out of the parking spot and felt the car dragging,” she said. “It’s a brand new car. So I made a u-turn and pulled into another spot where I could see better, thinking maybe I ran over a nail or got a flat tire. Well I found out I had two flat tires and the whole passenger side was keyed.”
She added that after observing the area, and talking to neighbors, she found out that several other cars along Shore Road had been damaged.
“Basically on the same block between Narrows and 88th Street, there were several cars that had been keyed,” Young said. “There was a car parked directly behind me that had the same damage as me. One of my neighbors from across the street had also said that his car had been keyed.”
Capt. Robert Conwell, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, confirmed Young’s account, telling this paper that there has indeed been a spike. There have been about 35 cars that have been keyed or had their tires slashed over the past month from 83rd to 93rd Street in Bay Ridge. Many of the incidents occurred on the weekend of Oct. 26, according to Conwell.
“I have dedicated patrol on the overnights now on that stretch, every night for the entire night. I also have NYPD lights towers coming to help light up the area, which has many dark spaces,” Conwell said, adding there are no suspects at this time.
Conwell had some advice for motorists who park in the area. “People should try to park in brightly lit areas, if possible. Above all, if you see something say something, if you think anything looks suspicious, call it in and let us investigate,” he said.
Councilmember Justin Brannan, who said he’d been in contact with the precinct, said he has asked for additional lighting in the area.
“I’d also like to see more lighting on Shore Road, something I have requested in the past,” Brannan said. “More light on the street will make it harder for these idiots to hide in the darkness and wreak havoc on innocent people’s cars.”
The temporary lights that Conwell requested have arrived. Late at night on Thurs., Nov. 7, a Bay Ridge resident posted on Facebook that the NYPD had placed lights along 93rd Street and at 94th Street and Shore Road.
Young, who filed a police report, took to the Facebook group Bay Ridge Talk to show neighbors the damage on her car. Others also shared their experiences.
“A friend of mine on Shore Road has the same done to his vehicle last week,” said one member. “It’s like the 1980s are roaring back.”
The damage will cost Young.
“The tires aren’t covered by insurance,” she explained. “The key damage will be covered after I make my deductible but it’s really frustrating … we shouldn’t have to worry that parking on the streets means that we have to have slashed tires and damage to the car.”