UPPER MANHATTAN — Days after a gun was fired during a home invasion in Inwood, police are warning people of the risk of burglaries and giving tips on how to stay safe.
"We want to spread the word to residents to make their apartments and living spaces secure by taking some simple steps," wrote Officer Haydee Pabey, of the 34th Precinct, in an email announcing the new initiative to warn "residents of the risks involved when persons are relaxed in their home security measures."
“Burglary is a crime of opportunity. When you are lax in your home security measures, you give criminals the opportunity to burglarize your home,” read the public service campaign's flyer.
Police suggested residents close and lock fire escape windows and remove valuables from areas near windows, secure air conditioners so that they are difficult to remove from the outside, lock doors at all times and use dead bolt locks and pick resistant cylinders on doors.
The 34th Precinct also urged residents to call 911 immediately if they witness suspicious activity, such as someone "climbing fire escapes, checking doors or looking into windows."
According to CompStat, nearly all crime is up 22.95 percent overall this year to date in the 34th Precinct as compared to last year.
To date, robberies are up 5.7 percent with 166 incidents reported versus 157 in 2010; burglaries are up 66.7 percent with 165 incidents reported this year versus 99 in 2010; grand larceny is up 17.5 percent with 235 incidents reported this year versus 200 in 2010; and auto theft is up 31.2 percent with 63 incidents reported this year versus 48 in 2010.
Murder is also up 250 percent with seven incidents versus two in 2010; rape is up 27.3 percent with 14 incidents reported versus 11 in 2010; and felony assault is up 11.7 percent with 143 incidents reported versus 128 in 2010.
Last week, the precinct received a temporary increase of 50 police officers to patrol a 24-block radius of Washington Heights in response to the reported rise in crime.