Cameras and Increased Patrols

August 21, 2008

Oh, Lordy, it seems that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Rep. Brian Higgins don’t want visitors to the Buffalo waterfront to be victims of smash and grab crimes. From the Buffalo News:

“We are aware that several cars have been broken into in the area as well as at Erie Basin Marina,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown, announcing plans to install the cameras.

“We will not tolerate this type of quality-of-life crime, which ruins the experience of the Buffalo waterfront,” he said. “We are installing these cameras to ensure the safety of the visitors to the waterfront.”

“With the newly opened Greenbelt pathway and the Outer Harbor Parkway currently under construction, we are going to see an increased number of visitors along this stretch,” said Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo. “This camera provides added protection for residents looking to take in a safe and enjoyable waterfront experience.”

In addition to the cameras, the Buffalo Police Department has increased patrols in the area.

Perhaps I’m full of myself but I would like to think that I helped in some small way to bring this problem to the attention of the media and the City of Buffalo.

Buffalo Waterfront Crime Update

August 20, 2008

I decided to contact the Buffalo News about the Buffalo Waterfront Crime Wave. Even if they did nothing, I would feel better that I tried to do something to make my fellow Buffaloians aware of the risk of leaving valuables visable at the new greenway trail.

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see an article in the Buffalo News about the break-ins. Of course, it could be co-incidence that a Buffalo News reporter decided that these crimes were worth writing about.

Even more surprising was yet another article in today’s (Wednesday) Buffalo News about another “smash and grab” on Fuhrmann.

I’m not sure what cops could do other than stationing cops in each parking lot and increasing patrols along Fuhrmann to stop this from happening.

I think that signs advising greenway users not to leave valuables in sight would be a good idea.

Welcome to the Buffalo Waterfront

August 16, 2008

The City of Buffalo opened a new greenway on the waterfront just below Downtown on Thursday. By this morning, the criminals have already found it to be a great place to do crimes.

This morning the lovely Lettuce and I decided to go for a walk on Buffalo’s newest trail. As I was pulling into the newly-created Bell Slip parking lot, a Canadian car with bikes on a rack couldn’t decide where to park. To avoid fuss and a possible accident, I parked in a spot closest to the road.

As we were walking towards the trail, we noticed some broken auto glass in an empty parking space. Both Lettuce and I didn’t pay it much mind figuring that the break-in happened overnight. We certainly didn’t even consider the possibility that a car could be broken into during the daylight hours next to a well-traveled road.

We walked on the trail for about 45 minutes. As we were almost back to the parking lot, we noticed that a couple with a toddler in a stroller was standing next to their yellow SUV and the woman was obviously upset and yelling. Lettuce first thought that the couple were having a fight. Then we both thought that perhaps something happened to the toddler. It wasn’t until we heard the phrase “credit cards” and saw broken auto glass next to their vehicle that we realized what happened.

Apparently the thieves took the woman’s diaper bag that, unfortunately, contained her wallet with credit cards but, fortunately, no cash. The man asked me if I had a cell phone that he could to call the police. Of course, I gave it to him. The woman was still very upset and Lettuce gave her a hug and tried to comfort her.

The man ended up calling 911. At first, there was some confusion as to the exact jurisdiction the parking lot was in. Unfortunately, the parking lot was still within the city limits of Buffalo and the man found out that it would be at least 45 minutes before a police officer would arrive. The City of Buffalo Police Department has a reputation, deserved or not, that they do respond to property crimes promptly.

We waited with the couple for about 30 minutes and the police still hadn’t come. In the for what it is worth department, Police HQ was about a 5 minute drive from the parking lot.

I asked if they wanted to use my phone to call anyone else before we left. As fate would have it, the woman’s parents were on a trip out of town so they didn’t really have anyone that they could call.

We wished them luck and left. I hope that everything is ok with them.

Lettuce also blogged about this incident