Weekly Feature

2009-11-11 / Front Page

Victim believes district should have alerted residents to break-ins

by JESSICA L. FINCH Associate Editor

Debbie Brown, an East Amherst resident, is upset the Williamsville Central School District hasn’t alerted residents about car break-ins at one of its schools.

She knows there is a problem because it happened to her.

Brown wrote a letter to The Amherst Bee this week (see page seven), saying she was the victim of larceny during a concert at North High School on Oct. 28.

She had locked her purse in the car and later found her window had been smashed and the purse was gone.

Upon telling others about her ordeal, Brown learned she wasn’t alone and other breaks-ins had occurred. As a result, she was upset and asks why the district didn’t send out an alert about the break-ins.

Rita Wolff, director of communications for the district, said the Police Department is responsible for sending out alerts.

“The police did not notify the school/district about the thefts in the North parking lot last Wednesday evening; rather the school administration found out the following morning from one of the theft victims,” she said.

Wolff said the issue was discussed at a PTSA meeting on Nov. 2, and at that time, some parents were talking about another incident when a purse was said to be stolen from an unlocked car during a soccer game.

“The district had no official word about that alleged incident and no knowledge as to whether or not a police report was filed,” she said.

Assistant Police Chief Timothy Green said if the department sent out an alert for every car larceny the public would become numb to them.

“If we notice a trend, where a certain area is being targeted, we try to get those alerts out but we can’t sound an alarm every time,” he said. “That wouldn’t really assist people.”

He went through the records of reports at North High School, and since January, there have been three car larcenies, one on Oct. 15 and two on Oct. 28. Green said that according to the report, the incident on Oct. 15 involved a purse being removed from an unlocked vehicle.

Throughout the year, officers remind people to protect their property by locking their vehicles, homes and garages. Residents are also reminded not to leave valuables in the car.

Green said residents should be mindful and take normal precautions at all times.

Return to top