UPPER WEST SIDE — Residents on brownstone-filled blocks are leaving their doors unlocked, inviting in burglars who don't draw suspicion due to their ease of entry, police said.
A series of break-ins were reported in the tony West 70s between Central Park West and Amsterdam Avenue. Police recorded 16 burglaries in the past 28 days compared to eight during the same period last year, said Capt. Michael Falcon, the 20th Precinct's commanding officer.
Falcon said he and another plainclothes officer went door to door in the West 70s last week, testing to see if doors were locked after multiple burglaries were reported in February. Not only did he find doors open and noone home, but he was stunned that no one nearby called 911 to report him.
"My concern is that in a lot of these buildings the front doors aren’t closed," he said, noting that in some cases the building's main doors were open and interior doors were "not shutting properly."
"The buildings for the most part are open," Falcon explained, meaning that criminals "have the run of the building."
He attributed the break-ins to residents of single- and multi-family homes leaving for the day and not checking that their doors locked.
The burglaries often aren't reported until hours or sometimes days later, making it harder to track down culprits, Falcon continued.
"I guarantee you [the burglary] happened during the day when nobody was home," he said.
In the 20th Precinct, 29 burglaries have been recorded so far this year as opposed to just 16 during the same period last year.
Falcon said he would be reaching out to all of the block associations in the area to tell residents to be extra careful about locking their inner entryways.
"Don’t make it easy for them," he said.