WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A spate of burglaries stemming from residents leaving their doors unlocked has led to a major increase in incidents so far this year, according to police.
The 33rd Precinct recorded 16 burglaries for the year to date as of Feb. 15, compared to nine for the same period a year earlier, marking a 78 percent increase, NYPD data shows.
The uptick comes amid a nearly 5 percent drop in major crimes in the precinct for the year to date.
Police said the uptick in burlgaries was largely due to perpetrators who gained entry to apartments through unlocked doors.
“We leave the house in a rush to go to work and next thing you know we leave the door open. That’s the main problem we’re having, that people forget to lock their doors,” 33rd Precinct Deputy Inspector Wilson Aramboles told residents at a recent Community Board 12 meeting. “And also, letting people into the building who don’t belong in the building.”
He noted that many of the incidents have occurred along a quiet stretch of Haven Avenue from 173rd to 178th streets.
Aramboles warned residents to lock their doors and not to buzz anyone into the building if they aren’t personally expecting guests.
“We’re all human and we’re all creatures of habit,” he said. “We have to make sure the door is locked.”