August 11, 2013, By Christian Murray
Sunnyside, NY: Burglars busted through the front door of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s Sunnyside home on Friday night and took off with a bicycle, cash, jewelry and other contents.
Van Bramer, who had been away for a couple of days with his spouse Dan Hendrick, received a call Friday night from a 46th Street neighbor telling him that he had been burgled. When he got back Saturday afternoon, Van Bramer discovered that his Sunnyside Gardens home was a wreck.
“They threw everything all over the floor—clothes and contents were everywhere,” Van Bramer said. “Even the funeral programs of people I keep … were scattered all over the floor.”
The break in was particularly disturbing since it is part of a pattern. There have been four burglaries in the Sunnyside Gardens district—including Van Bramer’s home—in the past six weeks.
Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer for Police Precinct 108, said the burglaries are particularly troubling since they are taking place at night when the victims are likely to be home. He said in the past, when there was a spree of burglaries in the Gardens, the perpetrators were less brazen and broke in during the day.
Van Bramer said the police were disturbed about his break-in since the burglars didn’t slip in through an open window; instead, they used force and smashed through the front door.
The police were stationed outside Van Bramer’s house Saturday morning and were going door-to-door up 46th street asking questions. They had a Crime Scene Vehicle parked near his home as detectives searched for clues.
Van Bramer said Sunday that he had been talking to Capt. Hennessy over the course of the past three months about the increased number of burglaries in Sunnyside Gardens. He said it is likely that undercover cops and auxiliary police will come to the neighborhood to combat the problem.
He said the additional cops would not be as a result of his house being targeted.
Van Bramer said that the level of burglaries has been a concern to Sunnyside Gardens residents for a while—and that his burglary is no more or less troubling as any other.
“We need to catch these cowards who are terrorizing and burglarizing people’s homes,” he said. “They should not be entering people’s houses at night.”
@Andrew I think security grill doors are a good idea but understand the preservation society’s stance
In manual on do’s and don’t on page 10
“Replacement door features a
configuration and finish that is
compatible with the age, style,
and type of the building, made
of wood or an alternative
material with the same detail.”
So the door can be MADE of anything as long as the finish and style looks like the doors originally used in sunnyside gardens. so if you can get a security door to fit the historical it’s ok. In fact there are companies that specialize in historical replacements with new materials.
has pictures or descriptions of what the houses by address should look like.
for example some of the houses describe cast iron porch or windows with grille, wires on facade, historic iron gate and more. so check and see if your house had more protection then you assume and work with the rules for a stronger more burglar proof door and frame. remember that where the door meets the frame is the weak point. Much weaker than security glass or a solid wood door.
@JulieJ I wrote “As far as the councilman being targeted. It is possible. Not because he is gay ” but in response to conversation that he may be targeted and that gay people are still targets of crime in NY city.
In fact I said “More probable is that sunnyside gardens had 4 burglaries meaning that the area is being targeted”
which is why Angray said you need to reread it, as you missed the point completely.
You also took the same time to make some assumptions that has no basis in what I wrote. Like MR? did I say I was a man or a woman? Get over the Gay thing? well since I dismissed it as a motive why would I be on it? Did I say I cared that he was gay? or even mention it more than in one sentence? It was such a tiny part of my only but huge post. you also assume that I am not a crime victim? or that Angray was never a crime victim? BECAUSE you had no problem lecturing either of us. If only crime victims can give opinions can’t only stop and frisk targets who commit no crime only have an opinion about that? are you a stop and frisk target?
how is your not reading my post correctly have anything to do other people shutting up? or does that mean you get a pass for being wrong? sorry victim crossing she can say what ever she wants everyone on else be very very quite.
comments are a forum for opinions and discussions.NOT just for victims of the recent robberies and NOT for you to misread posts and tell people to shut up BUT if you do don’t expect them to listen to your opinion or advice. You have no right to violate other peoples rights and make your own more important. That is why robbery is personal, not about things! People who show little respect earn loneliness and dismissal.
So here is something PRODUCTIVE for open discussion and YOU focused because this is all about you – If you are aware of kids doing drugs and committing other crimes have YOU PERSONALLY gone to the police, the parents, the counsel members we have working for us? If you feel you are a victim and that it will continue to happen have you bought cameras for your home? if not outside because of the gardens beautification rules then inside? have you reported suspicious activity and drug activity? Have you gone down to the 108 and asked them to reopen your robbery as they did Luvu2’s case? Have you moved to change the rules on having gates on doors so the houses have more protection with out infringing on privacy and freedom of movement rights with cameras? How are you working with your community instead of telling them to shut up because you are the victim?
Here is another scray situation
what are you all doing to safeguard yourselves? changing the locks/doors/etc? Putting up bars? damn, it feels like we have to imprison ourselves and do cops job trying to protect ourselves. I am so disappointed they still have no solid leads on these guys.
Pretty brazen; they knew that the occupants would not walk in on them. And nobody heard anything?
They were obviously not afraid of being caught.
Thanks JulieJ, point proven. Carry on having conversations on your own.
Wooden doors stand no chance. A properly installed security grill door with a deadbolt would have probably prevented this crime. Too bad the snooty bunch at Landmark Preservation Commission will not allow it because the building’s look is much more important than someone’s personal safety. JVB will most likely have to abide by LPC’s rule and get another door that is the exact same one as what he has now with nice glass windows so burglars can break in again on his next trip.
I am in favor of having security cameras installed throughout the Gardens. But I wouldn’t be surprised if lpc rejects that also.
Angray, I think you need to read with comprehension and stop lecturing other people who are crime victims.
JulieJ – Reading comprehension not a strong suit? Try reading what Get Help wrote again.
Mr. Getting Help: we have plenty of local criminals who have bragged about their crime sprees. And they are our neighbors. Nobody cares about Jimmy’s love life- it is his belongings that were targeted. Get over the “gay” angle.
Getting help the gardens has obnoxious brats who have robbed their pals done armed robbery AND they live on Jimmy’s street so stuff it I know them
It is quite plausible to suggest that that JVB was targeted because he is gay, and yes calling him openly gay just means he is a wonderful supporter of rights for all. As the investigation has shown, this was most likely not the motive.
@ Capricorn: The doctor was hit over his head with a bat as he slept in the Connecticut case for a gun to help he needed to have it on him, not be searched or gone for the gun in his sleep. In that case a dog (to alert or wake you), a secure basement and being aware that a car is following you home from the supermarket would of all helped more.
@luvu2: all crime is not committed by local kids. nor is it committed only by druggies. Why not an adult druggie? we have plenty. pot, cocaine, mollies, alcohol. Just go to the local bars at night and you can see all of these. (all adults) Minors right shouldn’t be abused because you suspect they “look” like they might be doing drugs.
As far as the councilman being targeted. It is possible. Not because he is gay (but thank you for revealing your bias) but because he is a councilman that has made a lot of decisions and choices that the community doesn’t agree with. OR more than likely. His whereabouts can be tracked more easily. Facebook, twitter, his office can all give info that could make easier.
More probable is that sunnyside gardens had 4 burglaries meaning that the area is being targeted. The thieves are probably watching for change of patterns, left newspapers, light that are out all night, cars that are missing, etc. His house showed signs of him not being home. Nighttime robberies mean that the thieves have other things to do during the day. either staking the places out OR jobs or school or ? Broken doors mean they don’t think they will be heard or don’t care. Breaking a door is the fastest way in, instead of looking for an open anything.
Ugh, we are moving to the neighborhood soon and are really upset about this, no matter whose home was burgled. Does anyone know if the homes had alarm systems? Do those actually deter robbers? (Guns are not an option for our family.)
They obviously knew he would be away. And so, I wonder if locals tipped other people off about this.
Cameras are not an option as Der Kommandant of Der Gardens, noted Preservationist and Architect of the Highest Order, Laura Heim, would have her partner J. Kroessellar calling the Landmarks Commission in earnest complaining about how “the facades of the Landmarked Structures are being violated!!!” by security cameras. Imagine!!! The safety and welfare of the inhabitants of these most precious structures taking precedence over the integrity of these landmarked buildings!
He wasn’t even home, how would a gun even help. I doubt if people started putting I have a gun sign and their house that buglars would skip them. I think it would be more likely for a councilmen to have a weapon anyway so they obviously didn’t care. Either way having a headline like man shot in the face for stealing a bike doesn’t make me feel safer than bike stolen when man not home. honestly a motion detector sounder alarm system is much cheaper and more effective than a gun. If they were gonna be all mcguyver and bypass the system they’re prepared way beyond the capacity of most anyway.
Obviously someone knew he was away and they simply broke in.
I doubt anyone would attempt at night unless they know who lives there, that they are not there, etc.. Also, I am surprised he did not protect his house better, wooden door with glass? That’s what you get for not putting one of those metal fort doors.
We all should start adding cameras, that’s for sure. Let’s all get together and find a nice quality installer and buy a bulk set of cameras to be installed. Maybe city will consider installing some more after this incident.
If cops questioned more and more people, there will be a whole lot of leads, only time I see cops in sunnyside is when there is a serious crime, other than that, they don’t like to do community patrols at all. We need some friendly neighborhood cops, maybe a pair of officers always in the area, getting familiar with people, knowing the neighborhood, etc.. How much do they cost city? They don’t have to walk around like rambos, just some familiar face.
“O’Toole tried to assure people that this area is one where very few people have guns. – See more at: http://sunnysidepost.com/2012/03/10/crime-spike-hits-sunnyside-woodside/#sthash.S1HThdKx.dpuf”
they also said while it’s high it’s not epidemic.
I don’t care about EPIDEMIC crime. I care about a safe neighbourhood where I want to see police patrols in their cars. Get moving from LIC to Sunnyside. We got a Dunkin Donuts too.
Patrols at night.
With “rank” comes privilege. Yes, we will soon have the Jimmy Van Bramer walkway dedication. While Quinn is funneling money to the Sunnyside Gardens Park, why doesn’t she send some money for cameras?
This just in!! From One Police Plaza to all Precinct Commanders: Due to statistical anomalies, until further notice, only left-handed, Portuguese-speaking, vegetarian lesbians are to be stopped and questioned. That is all.
I guess JVB will just have to name a street after himself now that this burglary is a hate crime directed at a gay man.
If I had walked in on my burglars they would not have walked out alive – the adrenaline would have taken over. Straw Dogs anyone?
Sunnysider’s should take-arms. Nothing else communicates respect when a buglar is shot down in the owners home.
Special extra treatment for Jimmy. I am sorry for his robbery – when you are robbed you feel violated – but I too was a crime victim and I also want justice. Was I robbed for being a “white female”? This is nonsense! Reopen some of the older burglary cases and start digging! And since Jimmy is not too fond of stop and frisk and supports Chrissy Quinn’s ridiculous handcuffing of the police, good luck with this case! These are crimes of opportunity. Whoever broke in, knew he was away.
Ms. Dorfman, the police acting on information such as “described as Hispanic in appearance” is illegal under the anti-police legislation recently adopted and supported by Councilmember Van Bramer.
This is news because of why??
No cameras anywhere??? Sunnyside gardens I’m surprised at you. Also while the new captain s revamping the 108 precinct he can give the cops there a lesson or 2 in manners. Most of them are arrogant and rude and when asked by civilians at a crime scene what happened their favorite answer s ” don’t know” really??? That’s what a 5 year old kid mite say not a person who s suppose to be protecting us as individuals and a community. We have a right to know what s happening in our community.
108 reopen my robbery
@Oliver: You’re an ignorant fool if you don’t think gay people are still targeted in NYC. JVB’s front door was crowbarred open, does not match the MO of any recent break ins.
Targeted because he is openly gay? Give me a break.
What about all the other homes that were broken into? We they all prominent homosexuals too?
I’ve been watching a lot of Downton Abbey lately- maybe that’s where I learned to grovel? I don’t care if he’s “openly gay,” whatever that means. I guess I’m openly staight, but that’s irrelevant outside of my personal life. So much innuendo in this community; I can’t keep up!
Oh yeah special treatment for special people
Smitty- Do you have Ray Kelly’s phone number? BTW nice profilng of JVB!!
The police should be extra vigilant when public figures and involved. JVB could have been targeted because he is openly gay. The union contractors who are making a fortune in night and weekend overtime on the East Side access project can’t be too thrilled with the pressure he has tried to put on them.
“He said the additional cops would not be as a result of his house being targeted”
“The police were stationed outside Van Bramer’s house Saturday morning and were going door-to-door up 46th street asking questions.”
“Crime Scene Vehicle parked near his home.”
Smitty’s groveling, sycophantic and servile attitude towards the council member is duly noted. How it is refreshing to find a commoner who knows and accepts his place.
@ Capricorn: Was it NRA propaganda when that psycho, paranoid Mother in Connecticut lost all control of her psycho and medicated son as he took a bunch of Momma’s UNLOCKED “legal guns”, hundred of rounds of ammo and fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School?
I think it makes sense for extra attention when a councilman’s home is burglarized this way. We’ve elected him to represent us; symbolically, what happens to him affects us, too. Of course, we don’t want the police to ignore everyone else and only investigate his burglary, but it deserves a higher profile in the public eye. We’re certainly paying more attention to this than to the other robberies; why shouldn’t the police? I think its a good reminder on how random crime is and how we all need to watch our for each other.
Chris Quinn on the case
Good thing they hit JVB’s house otherwise we would of never known about it. What about the other people whose homes were burglarized? Was this much done for them too?
Hope they didn’t take JVB camera
Was the detective from THE 115th PRECINCT who was asking questions on Skillman Avenue today re: the JVB case lost, or has a task force been assembled? Will JVB reject this special treatment? Will this affect his vote on handcuffing the NYPD with the potentially disastrous profiling bill?
In 2007, after inspecting just 9.3% of federal firearms licensees nationwide, ATF reported that more than 30,000 guns in the dealers’ inventories had been lost or stolen.
Guns stolen from homes: Almost 600,000 guns are stolen each year from private homes, according to poll data on gun-owning households.
Let’s beat in mind, there was no gun in this story. Owning one would not have helped at all, and it might have been found during the break-in and stolen.
And yes, when the NRA isn’t giving money to members of congress to buy votes, they’re spreading propaganda.
Here’s my question: during the burglary spree in the last three months in this area, did the police also have a Crime Scene Vehicle stationed outside the houses that were robbed, and did detectives go door to door looking for clues as they did in this case? Or is this latest robbery the only one to receive that level of police attention?
Was it NRA propaganda when that family home in Connecticut was invaded by psychopaths, the husband beaten nearly to death, the wife and daughter brutally raped then tied to the bed and set on fire where they burned to death?
Maybe I’m the crazy one, but I would have preferred that the two monsters breaking into the home had been blasted full of lead instead of the family being totally helpless and victimized in the most horrific way imaginable. But it’s families like this who pay the price of the gun grabbers’ utopian fantasies.
My husband saw several police men standing outside Van Bramer’s home this morning and asked one of them if something happened in the neighborhood. The cop responded “nothing to worry about.” I would disagree considering that there seems to be a string of robberies going on in our neighborhood.
Please God these incidents come to a quick end with all stolen property restored to owners.
South Side Johnny, come to my house in the middle of the night…you’ll be Swiss cheese before you hit the ground. Think that’ll deter your break-in?
Talk to local druggie kids they have history of robbing neighbors
Many crooks steal guns from people’s homes during burglaries. Thank goodness there weren’t any weapons for them to take. Most guns are not used to deter break-ins anyway, that’s just misinformation fed to a gullible public by the dastardly folks at the NRA.
I’m blown away over this.
Six weeks? Why is this the first time we are hearing about all of this?
They took his bike? What a coincidence. Sorry about the burglary, not funny, but…..
This had to have been someone intentionally targeting Van Bramer, I mean what are the chances?
Possibly unassociated with this incident but important to know:
On Jeremy Kerekan’s SunnysideNY yahoo group, a woman who lives down the street noted that during the day recently, she spotted two would-be burglars pretending to be gardeners. They were up on the lower roof of a nearby house, bagging branches. When the homeowner was asked if they had been hired, it turned out they were not. The two men were described as Hispanic in appearance.
Call 911 if you see any possible crime in process and give a description. If the possible thieves have fled, note the direction.
It’s a pity that it’s so difficult for law-abiding citizens to legally arm themselves in this city. These scumbag cowards would think twice about invading someone’s home if there was a good chance the owner might blow their heads off.