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Boerum Hill Residents Invite Burglars by Leaving Doors Unlocked, Police Say

BOERUM HILL — Too many Boerum Hill and Brooklyn Heights residents are leaving their doors unlocked and making it easy for burglars to get into their homes, police said.

At a community council meeting Tuesday night, Capt. Maximo Tolentino, the commanding officer of the 84th Precinct, said 48 out of the 141 burglaries that took place in 2012 happened when residents left their doors unlocked.

"The bottom line is, close your doors before you leave," said Tolentino. "We've gotten so comfortable with the fact that only 2.8 crimes happen per day [within the precinct] that we let our guards down when we get home."

He added, "Even if you're home, you can't assume it's OK to leave your front door open."

Tolentino advised residents to be more aware of their surroundings and to report any burglaries by calling 911 immediately instead of reporting them directly to the precinct days after the event.

The 84th Precinct covers Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Vinegar Hill.

“We are doing everything we can on our end, but we need everyone to do their part as well,” he said.

The statistics came as a shock to Boerum Hill residents who attended the meeting.

“Certainly with crime down citywide many people are less wary,” said Howard Kolins, president of the Boerum Hill Association. “Yes, check your door locks and take the ear buds out and look to see where you’re going.

“Don’t become a crime victim because you encouraged a crime of opportunity.”