Another home included in an interactive map of gun permit holders published by the Lower Hudson Valley’s Journal News shortly before Christmas has been burglarized. This time, according to the related report at Newsday, "The thieves ransacked the house Wednesday night, breaking into two safes on the home's third floor and stealing a third safe." The third safe, in what was either an amazing coincidence or yet another direct result of the interactive map’s publication, is the one which contained the homeowners' guns. Imagine that.
More details from Timothy O'Connor's Newsday report, wherein officials compete to distance the crime from the map, follow the jump.
Journal News map-listed guns, permits stolen from New City home, cops say
Two handguns and two pistol permits were stolen from the New City home of a man whose name and address are listed on the website of a local newspaper as possessing gun permits, police said.
... Clarkstown police said they had no evidence the burglary was connected to the controversial map.
"The burglary is still under investigation, and there are no facts to support this correlation at this time," Clarkstown Sgt. Joanne Fratianni said in a statement. "If the investigation develops further information, it will be released accordingly."
Family members at the burglarized home refused to speak publicly Thursday, and police are keeping reporters off the property on the quiet suburban street.
"At this early point in the investigation, we believe it is a random crime and the home was not targeted," Clarkstown Det. Lt. Charles Delo told News12.
The burglary comes less than a week after a White Plains homeowner -- who also was listed on the Journal News website as having gun permits -- arrived home to find his home burglarized, with jewelry missing and an attempted break-in of his gun safe. The thieves were not successful, and no guns were stolen.
White Plains Police Commissioner David Chong said Monday that it was "premature" to connect that burglary to the website listing but said it was part of the police investigation.
Of course the police are going to continue to say they can't prove a connection to the Journal News's map and even continue to deny one. They likely need to keep whatever they do know quiet in the interest of catching perpetrators who are still at large, and convicting any they do catch (news reports about the earlier burglary which occurred on Saturday indicate that "one suspect was taken into custody" out of "at least two burglars").
But reasonable people don't need courtroom-level proof to cautiously infer that as the "coincidences" pile up, what the Journal News has done has made Westchester and Rockland Counties in News York less safe.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.