A 71-yer-old woman convalescing from surgery in her son’s home returned to her Bronx apartment to find that it had been trashed. A piano was stolen. Officials acknowledge that the police did not attempt an onsite investigation of the burglary until they were asked about them by a reported. “I need an apartment and furnishings and have to start over from scratch,” said Ann Massimiano. Social workers believe that crimes against older people living in isolation are on the rise. “That’s the name of the game in this area. Their apartments are watched. People prey on them.”
The apartment contained wall-to-wall debris. The front door was simply held in place by nails, placed there by the superintendent. “I thought I was going to collapse.” The super said he had learned of break-ins on July 1, 8, 19, and 23 but had no phone number where he could reach them.(He changed his story, though, telling the police the break-ins happened on the 8th, 12th and 18th).
excerpt from Judith Cummings NYT 9/14/77