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Recent Bad Weather Has Caused Deluge of Burglaries in Bushwick, Police Say

By Serena Dai | December 9, 2014 5:02pm
 Rainy days in Bushwick have led to more burglaries recently, police say.
Rainy days in Bushwick have led to more burglaries recently, police say.
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

BUSHWICK — Rainy days could be having an impact on burglaries in Bushwick, police said.

The number of burglaries in the 83rd precinct has gone up by 24 percent so far this year — from 357 from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 of last year to 444 during the same period this year.

In a 28-day period ending on Dec. 7, the precinct saw 49 burglaries, compared to 44 in the same period last year — an 11 percent increase, according to Deputy Inspector Maximo Tolentino, commanding officer of the 83rd precinct.

Many of the recent burglaries occured during rainy weather, Tolentino said.

About 1.3 inches of rain fell between Nov. 23 and Nov. 30, a time period in which Bushwick had 11 burglaries.

"It’s my opinion that when the weather is poor, these people that commit burglaries have the perception that police officers are not going to get out of their cars and check the roofs," he said. "[But] we also do it during inclement weather."

Despite the uptick in burglaries this year, overall crime has decreased in the precinct. All other major incidents, from robberies to rape, have decreased this year, according to NYPD records.

And though burglaries have gone up this year, they're still down by 6 percent from two years ago. Most of this year's uptick can be attributed to the fact that last year's burglaries were "unusually low," Tolentino said.

Burglary arrests have also increased in the last month. Police arrested 18 people last month for burglaries, compared to eight in the same time period last year, Tolentino said.

Most of the arrests happened after people called police notifying them of an ongoing incident, he said.

"We rely heavily on the public," he said. "We get there right away and try to be effective."

Tolentino has previously said that Bushwick's construction boom has helped drive up burglary numbers, as thieves target construction sites for tools and new appliances.

But the majority of the incidents last month happened at residences.

About 20 percent of the incidents were the result of people not locking their doors or windows, Tolentino noted.

"We are encouraging people to close their doors," he said. "That’s part of the problem."