Today’s news:

Foreclosed homes become crime dens

The foreclosure virus inflicted on Canarsie has had many negative side effects.

But one of the worst is a symptom that can be easily seen – grand, boarded-up homes rife for the plucking by the homeless, mischievous teens, drug dealers, squatters and other undesirables.

“Foreclosed properties usually attract the unwanted,” one man attending last week’s Informed Voices of Canarsie said as Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, gave his monthly report. “Does the precinct make arrests for criminal trespass?”

Besides the robbers, burglars, and brazen gang members cops from the 69th Precinct face on a regular basis, cops in Canarsie are now being encouraged to check on foreclosed homes to make sure that no one else has taken up residence.

While it is usually the bank owning the foreclosed home’s responsibility to make sure that the property is sealed and boarded up, those desperate for shelter, or a home base for their illegal enterprise, can usually worm their way inside, residents complained.

Marmara said that he and his officers keep their eyes on foreclosed homes, but they rely on the “impromptu neighborhood watch” for more information.

“If you see squatters in a building, call 911 and we’ll address it,” Mamara told the assembly. “If it’s a chronic problem, let’s say with kids going in there on a regular basis, then you should let us know and we’ll have our school safety officers handle it.”

“When it’s a chronic problem, we will go in their and check it out,” he added, explaining that most squatters or na’er do wells tend to enter these homes through the back.

“We can’t see if they’re coming or going,” said Mamara. “We can’t hear any noises inside, so if you hear it and have concerns, you should let us know.”

Those with complaints about the care of foreclosed homes can also contact 311, police said.

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