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Burglars Still Targeting Sunnyside Apartment Buildings

(Photo: SunnysidePost)

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

The police have yet to apprehend any suspects following a rash of residential burglaries that have taken place in Sunnyside in the past two months.

The burglaries, which have all occurred between 40th Street and 52nd Street on the north side of Queens Blvd, have taken place inside apartment buildings, with the perpetrator(s) gaining access through fire escape windows. Most occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the police reported 14 incidents.

The police deployed nearly 30 officers for nearly a week around Christmas in response to the burglaries and they ceased. However, in the past couple of weeks “2 or 3” have occurred between 48th and 52nd Street, said Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 police precinct, at the community meeting Tuesday.

Despite the Sunnyside uptick, the number of residential burglaries across the 108 precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City– declined last year. However, crime across the major crime categories jumped more than 9% in 2013, compared to 2012..

Hennessy said that there were 1,327 crimes reported across the seven major crime categories in the precinct (murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, stolen autos) —up from 1,209 in 2012.

The increase was largely due to an uptick in property crimes.

The biggest jump was in the number of grand larcenies. This number of incidents—which is comprised of stolen cell-phones to items taken from cars— jumped from 470 to 570. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in the number of stolen vehicles.

The number of violent crimes that were reported in 2013, however, dropped. There were four murders and 15 rapes—the exact same number as in 2012. Meanwhile, the number of robberies and felony assaults fell.

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Actullay, I’m so hip I make my own granola. I was just kidding, trying to mock the xenophobic attitudes around here.

Plain Spoken

Hmm…I buy granola. I like cheese. Well whaddaya know? I’m a hipster. Better keep my eyes open for the “Sunnyside” look. Gonna start wearing Depends just in case. I’m shaking in my Doc Martins.

I forgot

SuperWittySmitty, I don’t know who you are or how old you are but it sounds like you need to leave people alone, instead of giving them stinkeye just smile or better yet just ignore them. You have no right to look down on anyone, no matter how they look. Enough with “hipster” term applying to every type of person that you guys personally hate.

Worried in Woodside

@43rd@43rd: Not sure about other people in the area but my Woodside apartment (no too far from where these burglaries are occurring…) gets uncomfortably hot during the winter. I regularly leave my bedroom windows wide open (with a fan sometimes!) during the night because it’s so hot. Troubling.


I saw a hipster- two of them, at that new retro-grocery store, and you could see that they were flush with hipster cash. They were buying something like granola- it had nuts and fruit, and also artisanal cheese. I gave them a real “Sunnyside” look, don’t worry! They could tell they were on thin ice.

I think if we all keep our eyes open for anyone who looks new or different, then we give them attitude! Let them know who we are. This way we can save Sunnyside and keep it as it’s always been! I mean, as it’s been since I got here. Let’s not get carried away. How about 1990? Or do we have to go way back to the Golden Years of the 30s – 60s? I guess I can be flexible.

South Side Johnny

@I’m so tired: please, let Dave alone. With the thesaurus he got for Christmas, and his usual hyperbolic nature, he’ll come back at you with both barrels. My advice: let him be. He’s obviously got a place in mind and you will get no where.


The only people saying Sunnyside is amazing are people looking to boost up their property values before selling it and leaving the neighborhood.

Sunnyside SUCKS


How do you know their fire-escape windows weren’t already locked? How do we know this is not some inside job which a person unlocks your door; removes your items and purposely opens the fire-escape window to throw off the keystone cops? If I was a smart, evil-aligned super; that’s what I’d do…

There’s no videos of this happening; not on entry/exit of the buildings, nobody is reporting seeing anyone on the fire escapes or rooftops…

Who leaves their fire-escape windows open in December or January when it’s freezing outside. These apartments aren’t exactly known for an abundance of heat. So, if the windows are closed, we supposedly have someone climbing up/down a fire escape and checking for locked windows?!? Nobody is seeing this?

I think it’s an inside job here. Give us real details about how this is happening. Question the people this is happening to and find out some facts so we can protect ourselves (since it’s obvious we’re not being protected by the ‘authorities’.

luke outtavindow

more hipsters + more hipster cash = more robberies

makes sense to me? If I was a robber I’d go where the ca$h is


Is there any listing of the cars stolen? I dont think anyone would steal my 16 year old ford station wagon with the original cassette player in it…..right?

I'm so tired

@dave What interesting restaurants and stores opening and closing are you referring to, I can’t think of any

Sunnysider for life!

Lived here all my life and it was the worst in the 80s. People getting robbed constantly. They learned to get gates on their windows.

Tequilla Mockingbird

@ Anonymous.
Where “you people” feeling safe in “the Gardens” this past summer when there was a string of burglaries happening there (including Van Bramer’s house) ?

Get off your high horse, will ya? Show some sympathy.

Sunnyside is one neighborhood, it could happen anywhere, no need for this ridiculous, classist way of looking at things.


Crane, you do not know what your talking about. Did you just move here. Us people who live in the Gardens do feel safe. The thief is targeting the apartment buildings not houses so you don’t you tell people to lock their fire escape windows. That might be the best place to start.

Florence Lawrence

I noticed some Caucasian males in suits with suitcases looking to open a realtor office.


We need to start installing more cameras of our own, this is the first step.
I see almost all large apartment buildings have cameras, walk on 44th from blvd to skillman, they all have cameras, how come non of these cameras catch anything, or why don’t cops request the tapes to go through them?

Also lighting is very important, why don’t most houses on gardens add a small light fixture outside their houses? How much will that cost them $2/mo in electricity? They don’t give a damn but I am surprised they don’t feel unsafe. Go walk at night, fraction of them have lights, considering the street lights on blocks like 44 to 47 are blocked by trees and some of them not working I would expect all house owners to have their lights working, if they are that cheap just add motion sensing lights, at least you will know if someone has just walked by etc..


P vs R – You should report that. If a bunch of the cellphone robberies have the same MO, then you have a description of a suspect and the number for an associate.

Pirates vs Robots

So, I’m pretty sure I thwarted an attempt to steal my cellphone about two months ago.

I was outside my building on the north side, reading something on my phone, at probably about 10:30 or 11:00pm. A girl who looked to be about 20 came up and said she was supposed to meet a friend but her cellphone was dead and she needed to call and say she was downstairs. I was very skeptical, but didn’t want to be rude in case she was telling the truth, so I asked her to tell me the number and I dialed it myself.

She held her hand out expectantly, but I waited for someone to answer and held the phone up to her ear rather than handing it over. The girl got very nervous and looked up the block repeatedly while I was waiting for an answer, and when the person picked up and I held up the phone for her, she said “Hi, it’s me…. *long pause* …… No, um…….. no, I…………… *long pause*…….. Uh, I’m downstairs……. no……. Bye.”

She then very nervously said “thanks” to me and walked off, turning the corner at the end of the block.

I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt and not assume she was trying to take my phone, but the fact that a guy answered the phone when she had referred to her friend as a girl, coupled with the generally sketchy conversation (why wouldn’t you just say “Hi, I’m downstairs!”??) and the fact that she turned the corner and thus clearly wasn’t visiting someone on the block at all certainly makes me lean toward the conclusion that, yep, I very nearly got robbed.

TL;DR: Don’t hand a stranger your phone!


And then there are our unsolved murders. I would be curious as to whether the police think that the burglars are locals or are coming from other neighborhoods. Also, where are they fencing their stolen goods?


I lived in Sunnyside from 2009 until just last year, and i’ve got to say that, during this time, I saw a really nice, quaint neighborhood turn into a grossly unlivable place.

Looking past the obvious, unacceptable delays and suspensions of the 7 train, we have:

A near-constant opening – and subsequent shuttering of – new and interesting restaurants and/or shops.

An administration that employed truly bizarre initiatives like that 40th street art (or exercise equipment, depending on how you look at it) and recorded bird noises at the 52nd street station.

An alarming rise in burglaries, along with a smattering of brazen, significantly more horrifying crimes like arson, torture (that poor man in the Skillman Ave. factory) and homicide.

Am I missing anything here? Seriously, I’m not trying to be pejorative.

Just attempting to re-state empirical evidence that forced me to move.

Can anyone, please, tell me what is going on in the 11104 zip code?


Rich Klein

Chief Hennessey needs to do a better job at alerting the public to details of crimes known so the community can help the police capture the criminals! There’s a history of the 108th brass waiting weeks and months to announce that crimes happen here and all that does is give the thugs time to hide from the eyes and ears of the public. When potentially violent felons are on the loose and we don’t know about it, all of us are put in harm’s way.


A friend of mine on the North side of the blvd was broken in to several months back, when the police arrived they said that they had a very good idea who it had been and said that they were responsible for a lot of local robberies lately. So I think it’s total bollocks that the Police have still not apprehended any suspects. Think they need to get a move on and arrest some robbing bastards.


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