BUSHWICK — Gentrifiers moving into Bushwick are driving up the neighborhood's burglary rate because they don't lock their doors, according to the local precinct commander.
As of Dec. 6 there were 441 burglaries in Bushwick this year, more than any other neighborhood in the city, statistics show.
East New York followed with 404 burglaries and Williamsburg came in third with 368.
The burglaries, roughly ten per week, were the fault, in part, of Bushwick's newest residents who leave their doors and windows unlocked, allowing thieves to take advantage, said the 83rd Precinct's Commanding Officer Maximo A. Tolentino.
"They're accustomed to a different lifestyle," Tolentino said, "They have absolutely no problem leaving their doors open."
"You're moving from probably a nice area to the city, either for work or lifestyle," Tolentino said. "Whatever the case may be, you just can't assume that every neighbor is going to be neighborly."
In addition to leaving doors and windows unlocked, Bushwick's architecture, mostly row-houses and small apartment buildings linked by fire escapes and connected by rooftops, also lends itself to opportunistic thieves, Tolentino said.
In many of the incidents there is no evidence of forced entry meaning that doors or windows were left unlocked, Tolentino said. He did not provide statistics for how many burglaries had unforced entries. Most of the burglary victims reported the theft of Apple products and other electronics, jewelry and cash, he said.
Although the number of burglaries dropped by 18 this year, Bushwick has long been a target for for thieves, who target the neighborhood's construction sites. Last year, Tolentino blamed inclement weather for a rash of thefts.
Crime overall in the 83rd Precinct was down by seven percent from last year and all crimes saw decreases except for rapes, which increased by five this time last year.