Courtney KaneFeb 9, 2018, 11:47 pmFeb 12, 2018, 3:43 pm

Nassau PD: Food delivery workers have been targeted for car thefts in Inwood

Authorities say 4 juveniles have been arrested, warn drivers not to leave vehicles running while delivering order

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INWOOD — Nassau County police detectives are actively searching for the culprits involved in a string of vehicle thefts targeting food delivery workers. Police say within the last few months there's been a string of vehicle thefts that are targeting Chinese food delivery workers. Det. Lt. Richard Lebrun held a press conference Friday to spread the word about the string of vehicle thefts in the area.

“Between December 24th 2017, and January 7th 2018, we've have had five larceny in this area of vehicles, plus one attempted larceny,” Lebrun said.

On Feb. 7, detectives say a 54-year-old delivery man working for Happy Wok Chinese restaurant attempted to deliver food to 13 Bernard avenue in North Lawrence. When the victim noticed the house number 13 did not exist, he left his vehicle and went to knock on house number 11.

“What is happening individuals are calling Chinese food establishments, they’re placing orders either to fictitious addresses or residences that are not actually ordering food. When the delivery person gets out of his vehicle and walks up to the residence, these individuals are now jumping into the car and removing the car from the scene, which is a grand larceny,” Lebrun explained.

The delivery man's car was later recovered on 98 Henry Street. About half the vehicles have been recovered. Lebrun says so far, police have arrested four juveniles.

“We’re quite not sure if they're linked to every one of these, so we want to make sure there’s no competition out there. We want to make sure that we get the word out that if you are in the community and see a suspicious vehicle, call 911,” Lebrun said.

The police department is hoping to make the community aware of the issue and says the key is proper education.

“If these individuals that are actually delivering the food do not leave the keys in the car, and do not leave their vehicles running, this would be a moot point. What we want to do is make sure is that we don't give the opportunity to these individuals that are stealing the vehicles,” Lebrun said.

Detectives are also reaching out to other food delivery establishments in hopes to prevent this from happening again.

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