Bustling Park Slope and Cobble Hill have experienced a string of apartment burglaries recently that have left owners with broken locks and doors, as well as missing money and property. According to the NYPD, the string of burglaries started a little over two months ago, with the most recent theft on January 27th. Police see a pattern and suspect a single male perpetrator.
The first burglary occurred in mid-afternoon on December 3rd, 2019. According to the NYPD, an unknown male broke into a Park Slope apartment on 7th avenue near Lincoln Place and stole $52,000 worth of jewelry, along with a purse and some cash.
Almost two weeks later, on December 19th, police believe the same burglar broke the apartment door of a 5th avenue building near Barclays Center. He left with nearly $3,000 in clothes and electronics. More recently, on January 27th, police believe he forced open an apartment door on 7th street and 7th ave and walked away with a jewelry box worth about $10,000, police said. In all, the NYPD is seeking this individual for questioning in relation to six residential burglaries.
The third burglary happened on the morning of January 8th. The man attempted to break into an apartment at the intersection of Park Place and Carlton Ave by damaging the lock, but was unsuccessful. Two days later, however, at noon, the burglar broke the door of a President Street apartment in Park Slope and walked away with a television, jewelry, and a few hundred dollars in cash. Less than two weeks later, on the afternoon of January 21st, police said, he forced open the door of an apartment near Smith street and Degraw and stole $3,000 worth of electronics.
Residents of Park Slope and Cobble Hill seem to be largely unaware that local residential areas have been burglarized, at least as indicated by several recent interviews. Just feet away from the apartment broken into in December, Erin Hester, 24, was walking his months-old puppy. Hester told NYCityLens he hadn’t heard of any nearby burglaries nor had he seen any local notices of the pattern. Employees at two nearby businesses, however, said they had experienced burglaries in the past couple of months as well. Neither wanted to comment further.
So far, the NYPD has not made any arrests. As the investigation continues, local lock and door services have some safety precaution suggestions. Eric Maksumov, 33, an employee at Wilson Locksmith Inc., encourages residents to invest in a Ring camera. At about $100, Maksumov says, it’s the most inexpensive method for a camera system, and he says it is the most effective. “It just takes two screws to put in and you get live messages if someone is at your door,” Maksumov says. He also suggests a second lock to deter burglars and strongly recommends rekeying your locks when first moving into a new residence. “That way you have peace of mind, knowing no one has another copy of the key to your house,” Maksumov says.
Andrey Divgun, 30, of Brooklyn’s Stanly Enterprises, a door supplier, suggests installing a secure exterior door made with steel reinforcements, which also come with a “multipoint” locking system. “It’s a lot harder to break in,” Divgun says, adding that burglars are “generally unfamiliar” with the door and lock system. The material is thicker, he said, and the locks are more sophisticated than the ones that burglars seem so adept at breaking.