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Cops say string of car break-ins in Flanders, Riverside are ‘connected’

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Since late September, parked cars in Flanders and Riverside have been broken into on a weekly basis, according to Southampton Town police reports.

And, according to Lieutenant Susan Ralph, the dozens of reported break-in incidents are all connected.

“We’re telling people to remove all belongings out of the vehicle,” Lt. Ralph said. “Any loose change, iPads, iPhones, pocketbooks — do not leave those items in your vehicles.”

A total of 42 cars have been reportedly “rifled through” along Flanders Road and nearby streets in the past three months, Lt. Ralph said. 

In some instances, bricks or large stones were thrown through the vehicles’ windows, according to police reports. One victim also had their tires punctured, police said.

In many of the incidents, thieves took items — like cash, purses, credit cards and drivers licenses — from the vehicles. But sometimes the cars were broken into but nothing was removed, police said.

The most recent larcenies occurred sometime between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, when three cars parked in driveways on Flanders Road were broken into, Southampton Town Police said. Allegedly, all three vehicles had items removed from them and one car was damaged, according to police reports.

Lt. Ralph said the break-ins are occurring mostly in the Flanders area, but they’ve now been filtering into Hampton Bays.

She said the break-ins were sporadic; they stopped for a bit, but then started up again.

“If you see someone rummaged through your car [but nothing was taken] still call,” she said. “What’s going on is hopefully we’ll catch a break.”

The break-ins have occurred on Flanders Road, Priscilla Avenue, Suffolk Avenue, Oak Avenue, Gilder Avenue, Brookhaven Avenue, Evergreen Road, Ludlam Avenue, Maple Avenue, and Point Road, among other streets.

The Southampton Town police detective division is currently investigating the incidents.

“Don’t even leave bags in your vehicles because they’ll break the window if the door is locked to see what’s in the bag,” Lt. Ralph said. “Everything should be removed from all vehicles.”

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Editors’ Note: This story was updated at 4:50 p.m. to reflect more reported break-ins than initially indicated by police blotter records. The new number of incidents now reflects the total number of break-ins reported over a three-month period, not six weeks as initially reported.