An incident related to the ongoing issue of automobile thefts across Long Island communities occurred in the Village of Old Westbury in the early hours of Thursday, March 3rd. Four suspects successfully stole one vehicle before briefly encountering Old Westbury Police Officers who were responding to a report of suspicious persons in the driveway of a Morgan Drive residence, where they attempted to enter three more vehicles. The police response, which came less than two minutes after the property owner of the second location called the Village Police Department, thwarted the suspects’ efforts to continue their crime spree. The Old Westbury Police Department is working in unison with surrounding law enforcement agencies to identify and apprehend the suspects who were last seen on Wheatley Road near the Service Road of the Long Island Expressway.
Upon the officers arriving on scene at Morgan Drive, the suspects sped towards both patrol cars who had engaged their emergency lights and narrowly avoided a collision as they passed them. Due to the wet road conditions at the time of the incident, the high rate of speed the suspects were traveling and the overall reckless nature of their behavior, the responding police officers decided not to engage in pursuit of the vehicle to ensure the safety of other motorists and surrounding properties. Our village police force has been briefed on this ongoing issue that is facing many communities on Long Island thanks to continued coordination with Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder and other law enforcement agencies in the area. It is this knowledge that informed the responding officers’ decision to discontinue the pursuit given instances in other jurisdictions that involved the ramming of police cars and property damage caused by suspects desperate to evade arrest.
Based on video of the incident, four suspects were seen on camera in the homeowner’s driveway. The suspects immediately began trying door handles on each of the homeowner’s three vehicles, successfully entering one of them as our officers began to respond, prompting them to get back in the vehicle they arrived in. All of this took place in roughly 60 seconds from start to finish.
We would like to recognize this homeowner’s efforts to immediately notify our police department of the incident and subsequent assistance while connected to our dispatchers. If any residents in the area have video of, or more information about, these incidents, please contact the Old Westbury Police Detective Bureau at 516-626-0200.
As we continue to combat this ongoing issue, we’d like to remind residents to keep car doors locked, secure key fobs and keys inside your homes and do not leave any valuables in your vehicles. As always, please promptly notify the Old Westbury Police Department of any suspicious activity at 516-626-0200 or dial 911 in the event of an emergency. Thank you for your continued cooperation and vigilance.