Last year we learned Bushwick had the most burglaries in New York City because, according to the 83rd Precinct’s Commanding Officer at the time, Maximo Tolentino, new residents were “accustomed to a different lifestyle,” and had “absolutely no problem leaving their doors unlocked.” Ipso facto, many of those 457 burglaries included unforced entrees. Oy vey.
But, grand news: Some of them have learned from their mistakes. The number of burglaries in Bushwick this year has dropped 39 percent compared to last.
And yet, we can all find new ways to be irresponsible. This year in Bushwick, DNAinfo reports, grand larceny thefts (property valued over $1,000) have increased by 15 percent— 384 versus 333 as of October 16. For context, DNAinfo adds, grand larcenies in Bushwick have increased year over year since 2000, but in 2016 the surge has been bigger.
The culprit this time? One is identify theft, according to now Deputy Inspector Maximo Tolentino. But the other? Leaving “valuables” unattended in public—you know, the bars, the restaurants, the coffee shops we all frequent. Full disclosure, I, too, was a victim of grand larceny this year. In a dark bar in Bed-Stuy, someone lifted my bag directly off the back of my chair while I sat in it. I’m fairly positive I’ve spent more money trying to recover all of the property inside of it than the person got by taking it.
“You have to watch where you put your valuables. Folks are coming to Bushwick and basically leaving their valuables out,” says Tolentino. Have to say, I’ve been clutching all my belongings a lot more tightly. No repeat grand larceny yet.