GREENWICH VILLAGE — Thefts are up in the Village and Meatpacking District due to rich, drunk bar-goers leaving pricey goods and wallets unattended for thieves to snatch, police said.
An alarming number of grand larcenies reported in the nightlife-rich neighborhoods this year have occurred after people left their bags at bars and laptops on tables while they socialize, smoke or visit the restroom, said 6th Precinct Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo.
"It's intoxicated, affluent people leaving their stuff around," del Pozo said at a community meeting this week.
The grand larceny rate, which covers the theft of goods worth at least $1,000, has risen more than 12 percent in the precinct this year through Oct. 14 — with 870 reported incidents compared to 774 last year within the same period, NYPD statistics show.
Despite their careless behavior, victims are often stunned to find their valuables vanish, del Pozo said.
"All I did was leave my purse for 15 minutes while I used the ladies room," one woman said, according to the commanding officer.
To catch and deter thieves, 6th Precinct officers, including those in plainclothes, are patrolling bars and clubs, del Pozo said.
Police reminded community members to always keep a close eye on their belongings.