BUSHWICK — The number of burglaries in Bushwick has jumped 39 percent this year — driven in part by thieves who are taking advantage of the construction boom to steal new appliances and tools from open sites, according to police.
From January until Sept. 7 this year, there were 313 burglaries in the 83rd precinct, which covers Bushwick, up from 225 in the same time last year, according to police data.
In the last month alone, Bushwick had 47 burglaries, compared to just 24 in the same time last year, NYPD data shows.
Precinct Captain Maximo Tolentino told those assembled at a Community Board 4 meeting Wednesday that the uptick was partially spurred by thefts at construction sites, which are booming across the neighborhood.
"It presents the opportunity for individuals to come in and steal appliances that are brand new and also to steal tools," Tolentino said.
Tolentino said that burglaries were also largely driven by incidents in which people didn't lock their windows or doors. He warned neighbors to be careful about locking up to prevent the crime.
"I’m going to tell you, as a victim of a burglary, having someone violate your personal space is one of the worse things to have happen to you," Tolentino said.
Tolentino, who started as captain last month, added that his precinct would be focusing its efforts on curbing robberies, as well as on targeting cyclists biking the wrong way on one-way streets and cleaning up graffiti.
He noted that with Vogue.com recently ranking Bushwick as the number seven "coolest" neighborhood in the world, the spotlight should encourage the community to make improvements.
"We have an opportunity to do something great," he said. "We should take advantage of our popularity."
The neighborhood has been experiencing a construction boom, with the popularity of new luxury buildings including Colony 1209 on Dekalb Avenue driving up rents by 23 percent in the past year, according to real estate experts.
Though burglaries went up this year from last year, they're down seven percent from two years ago, according to police data.
And the overall number of major crimes in the precinct has remained relatively flat between 2013 and 2014, with a one percent decrease in incidents. Robberies, rape, grand larceny and felony assault all saw decreases.