News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
December 7, 2016
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News + Views

Rash of Apartment Break-Ins

By Lisa M. Collins

Capt. Jack Lewis has his investigators visit all prior burglars in the area, to see what they're up to lately
Photo by Joshua P. Kristal

Note from editor: In the last week, I’ve run into two girls who had their purses stolen. One I saw at the police station while I was there for a meeting. She’s a young gal from Michigan who was at Great Bar Harry on Smith Street, drinking, when someone stole her MacBook out of her purse, which was down by her feet while she sat at the bar, she said. She was devastated; everything from family photos to her music collection was lost with the hard drive. (Not to sound sales-pitchey for Apple, but buying their Time Capsule backup service is a good idea, so your life is backed up online should you have your computer stolen.) The other gal was coming into Karloff cafe on Court very upset. She’d been sitting in Starbucks, on Court, with her boss, when someone stole her purse from the back of the chair, where she was sitting. Her wallet had $500 cash in it that she’d just gotten for a work project. This is not good.)

Carroll Gardens police are warning residents to lock their windows after a rash of burglaries since early March. The police are tracking a man or woman who appears to have committed nine burglaries since March 1. Recently, four apartments in the vicinity of Henry Street and 4th Place were broken into. Electronics, computers and jewelry were stolen.

The burglar (or burglars) is climbing up fire escapes and entering apartments through rear windows, said Capt. Jack Lewis, commander of the South Brooklyn 76th Precinct at Union St. between Henry and Hicks.

According to the police, the burglar appears to be a pro. He’s not leaving finger prints, and isn’t forcing his way in. He’s breaking in during the day, when people are at work.

“We don’t have a lot of leads,” Lewis said. “We won’t leave any stone unturned. We have to get this perpetrator off the street. God forbid, we don’t want him to confront anyone if they are home.”

The 76, which covers Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook and parts of Boerum Hill and Gowanus, has seen 16 burglaries reported for the first three months of this year, compared to 27 this time last year.

It’s vital that residents lock windows, said 76 spokesman Officer Vincent Marrone.

One woman’s apartment at Henry between Fourth Place and Luquer was recently broken into. The thief entered a bathroom window near a rear fire escape. She had quite a bit of jewelry stolen as well as a laptop.

“Her mom had passed recently. He took her mom’s jewelry. It’s sad when these things happen,” Lewis said.

In other crime news, a troubling robbery took place on March 31 at 7:30 p.m. A woman, 29, from Carroll Gardens, was walking on Carroll Street between Hoyt and Bond when two men approached her from behind. One put her in a choke hold. She fell to the ground, and one of the men tried to grab her purse. She would not let go, so one of the men started to punch her on the head repeatedly, said Detective Paul Grudzinski. The thieves made off with a $250 Gucci wallet. The woman reported the incident the next day.

I asked Grudzinski if he thought the level of violence in this robbery was rare for this area.

“Rare is relative,” Grudzinski said. “In general we don’t have very many violent crimes.”

Capt. Lewis also brought up that three people in the past month were hit by cars and killed. The first may have been a suicide, as it involved a man riding his bike on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway early in the morning. The second was a man running across the street at Hamilton Ave. “A car tapped him, but the way he fell” and hit his head turned fatal. And finally, last week a 56-year-old woman was crossing Columbia Street when she was hit by a car and run over by a van.

Additionally this week, a pedestrian running across Fourth Ave. was hit by a car.

“You have to use the crosswalks especially in big intersections, where it takes a long time to cross,” Lewis said. “Follow and use the traffic devices.”

 

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