Police are currently following some leads after dozens of vehicles were vandalized at an apartment complex in Tarrytown late last month.
Residents at Halston House Condominiums on Benedict Avenue awoke on Nov.
28 to discover that somebody had swiped the glass from their side-view mirrors in the middle of the night. At about 8 a.m., when most residents normally begin their daily commute, the owners of between 20 to 30 vehicles discovered the missing glass.
Neighbors began congregating in the parking lot as officers arrived from the Greenburgh Police Department, which has jurisdiction over certain parts of Tarrytown. Reporters from NBC, CBS and News 12 Westchester also arrived.
One of the victims was a local reporter’s wife. "I feel violated," Lauren Freeman said in an interview, referring to the missing mirrors on her silver Mazda 3.
As part of its investigation, police contacted neighboring municipalities, including New York City, to see if they experienced a similar phenomenon with side-view mirrors. Officers told local detectives that this specific crime began more than six months ago in The Bronx, Queens and parts of Nassau County, according to Greenburgh Police Lt. Chris McNerney in an interview on Dec. 6.
"There’s a market for it," McNerney said, adding that they are easily removed and junk yards and body shops pay $10-$20 per mirror. As for the crime at Halston House, there was no specific type of vehicle targeted, McNerney said. He also said he’d be speculating if he were to guess the number of vandals involved in the thefts.
Victims at the scene of the crime watched as detectives used special equipment to take fingerprints from the damaged mirrors. McNerney said the physical evidence has been processed and there are some leads, but he said he couldn’t go into further detail because he didn’t want to jeopardize the investigation.
Price estimates for the damage on the Mazda include about $40 per mirror. And depending on how easy it is to pop the glass into the side-view structure, the total price could come to $240 with labor.
Multiply that by 30 cars, and the vandal(s) may have inflicted up to $7,200 in damage, not including the cost of rental cars, insurance premiums, time off from work, and potential accidents caused by the safety hazard.