By Jano Tantongco
Melville resident Chris Graziose has spearheaded a neighborhood watch group, Eye On The Triangle, as a response to what he considers a “rash of disturbances” in the triangular zone bounded by Wolf Hill Road, Old Country Road and New York Avenue.
Some of the disturbances detailed by Graziose, 49, allegedly occurred on Earl Road, where he lives with his fiancé. He said residences on the road have been broken into on around six occasions over the last month, leading him to start the neighborhood watch.
One of those incidents occurred across the street from his home, he said, where thieves disabled lights in order to steal a motorcycle and an ATV in the same night.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of crime in the area,” Graziose, a 19-year Melville resident, said. “We’re going to take it into our hands. The more awareness we make… hopefully it will keep the riffraff out.”
Graziose cites the proximity of the triangle to highways as being particularly attractive to would-be thieves. From its northernmost point, the roughly 350-acre triangle is 1 mile away from the Northern State Parkway.
“You can clean someone out and be on the Northern State in 11 seconds,” he said, adding that he believes criminals have been mostly active between 11 p.m.-3 a.m. “We are realizing that the entrance to the triangle, the houses close to those streets are the ones getting hit. It’s kind of easy access.”
Graziose did not criticize the Suffolk County Police Department’s Second Precinct, which patrols the area. However, he said that, as residents of the area, members of the neighborhood watch can do more.
One of the first steps, he said, will be partnering with the Second Precinct. Graziose said members of Eye On The Triangle were expected to attend the precinct's monthly community meeting, which was scheduled for Wednesday, after deadline.
“We’re going to go and voice our opinions to see how the authorities can support us,” he said, adding that they will work with the precinct “under their direction to avoid stepping on toes.”
Eye On The Triangle, which unofficially consisted of around 12 people as of deadline Monday, has informally patrolled the triangle area. Graziose said it will officially begin enrollment after the precinct meeting.
Graziose, who owns marketing company Digital Resource Group, said that he intends to procure sponsorships from local businesses to help cover expenses, including creation of permanent signage, flyers, posters and shirts for the members.
The group’s Facebook page can be found by searching “Eye On The Triangle.”