BAY RIDGE — Here we go again.
Dozens of Bay Ridge residents who parked along Shore Road in the 70s woke up on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 17 to slashed tires and keyed cars.
This latest incident comes after about 35 cars were keyed or had their tires slashed over the past month between 83rd and 93rd streets, with many of the incidents occurring on the weekend of Oct. 26. To try to thwart the vandalism, after the earlier incidents, the 68th Precinct had increased patrols in the area in the overnight hours and set up light towers.
More recently, according to an NYPD spokesperson, “The commanding officer of the 68th Precinct … has deployed Neighborhood Coordination Officers, patrol officers and anti-crime personnel to the area to conduct patrols to monitor the area and search for a suspect(s) during every tour. The Detective Squad has increased personnel to help enhance the investigation, which remains ongoing.”
Among the people asking for stepped-up patrols has been Councilmember Justin Brannan, who on Sunday broke the bad news via social media. “As you may have heard, many cars were vandalized last night along Shore Road in the 70s (tires slashed, etc),” he wrote. “I’ve spoken with the 68 Precinct and they are looking for video. If your car was hit last night, please file a police report. NYPD will have increased patrols in this area.”
Also asking for an increased police presence was State Sen. Andrew Gounardes who, in a joint statement with Brannan, said, “We cannot and will not allow vandals to continue to damage our neighborhood with impunity. We have demanded more resources from City Hall, NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn South and have asked that the 68th Precinct immediately increase patrolling during the overnight hours in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. It is imperative that the NYPD catch these vandals as soon as possible and we will do whatever we can to support the 68th Precinct to make sure that happens. In the meantime, let’s all be safe, keep our eyes open and look out for each other.”
“The safety and wellbeing of all those in our community is paramount and needs to be prioritized,” agreed Rep. Max Rose. “The lowlifes responsible for the recent string of vandalism along Shore Road and Third Avenue must be brought to justice. My team and I are in contact with the 68th Precinct and encourage anyone with information to reach out to the authorities.”
Local resident John O’Brien saw the aftermath of the vandalism.
“I happened to be going for a stroll from my house and saw all these cars with flat tires,” he said. “My wife and I and some neighbors have been going to the community board meeting and NCO meeting at Xaverian High School on Wednesday and complained to our police officers that are supposed to be in our sector.
“Their excuse,” O’Brien said, “is that they don’t have enough manpower in the precinct.”
A longtime Bay Ridge activist and resident who lives nearby told this paper what she saw.
“I first found out about in on Sunday morning,” the person said said. “I got an email. Someone was alerting anyone that parked on Shore Road between 72-76nd Streets that all the tires had been slashed and keyed. I looked outside and sure enough there were people that were changing their tires, just walking back and forth. There was a guy that came to change people’s tires from a company and he was there all day. He was going back and forth from car to car.”
The Bay Ridge resident also added that flatbed trucks were coming throughout the day.
“I just felt so terrible,” the person continued. “It’s outrageous that this kind of damage was done to so many cars. I really couldn’t believe it. People were communicating on the Facebook page that there were 32 cars [vandalized]. That’s unbelievable.”
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis — who has railed against law enforcement’s various policy changes such as the impending elimination of bail in many instances — blamed “the pro-crime and anti-policing policies adopted by City Hall and the state legislature” for the “increase of these types of incidents and a decrease in quality of life.
“They said I was ‘fear mongering,’ denied the broken windows theory, created more laws to protect the bad guys and made crime victims second-class citizens,” she went on. “Now, we are feeling it. New York Democrats in control of all levels of government MUST start putting the protection of law-abiding citizens and our communities first.”
The activist, who was born and brought up in Bay Ridge, told this paper she had never seen anything like what went on along Shore Road this weekend.
“I can’t believe the magnitude of this. I can’t believe that much damage in one night, how some people can be so mean,” she said. “This is such an assault on the safety and serenity of Bay Ridge.”
In the meantime, cops are still looking for the vandals. In a tweet, the 68th Precinct asked people with information to call detectives at 718-439-4236.