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.”