The West Village is New York’s hip neighborhood this year – for crooks.
The celebrity-packed enclave of tony brownstones, high-end boutiques and jazz clubs has been hit by a scourge of theft and robbery – as it suffered the biggest crime spike of any part of the Big Apple in 2022, new NYPD data indicates.
By mid-August, the NYPD’s 6th Ward, which includes both West Village and Greenwich Village, saw an 80% rise in crime — fueled by a 103% rise in grand larceny and shoplifting, the data shows.
Local residents and workers are fed up.
“It’s definitely getting worse,” Joe Abbas, owner of Village Bazaar on 6th Avenue, told The Post on Wednesday.
“There’s always shoplifting. In the CVS I always see the police in the corner. The police are always outside.”
Data shows that the 6th Circuit — home to high-profile residents like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lawrence — saw 1,380 major crimes in 2022, compared to 766 for the same period in 2021.
The bulk of this crime wave stems from a large number of grand thefts, which include shoplifting. So far this year, there have been 802, compared to 394 in the same period last year — a 103% increase, according to the figures.
Anisha Ghale, an employee at Karma Nepal Crafts on Bleeker Street, said the shop had to use tactics more common in New York’s higher crime areas to fend off the thieves.
“For the trinket trays, we had to put double-sided tape underneath because they take up the whole tray,” Ghale said. “We put duct tape under the trays so it takes some time for them to steal so we can stop them.”
“Crime is increasing by the day right now and they’re getting really fearless,” she told the Post.
“Even if we say, ‘I’ll call 911,’ they don’t care. They say, “Yes, you can do whatever you want. I do not care.’ Even if the police come, they take them away, they come after 2 to 3 weeks and do the same thing again.”
Burglaries in the 6th Circuit are up 119% this year, with 272 crimes compared to 124 at this point last year.
Several serious crimes were up, with 10 reported rapes this year, versus 7 last year, and two homicides in 2022 versus none in 2021. The only bright spots have been that there have been no shootings in the precinct so far this year and a nearly 4% drop in criminal assaults.
Some blamed this disturbing rise in theft and general crime on bail reform – as under the new rules virtually all suspected thefts will be released without the need to post bail or bail.
“This whole bail reform has to go,” insisted Kevin Jackson, CEO of John’s Pizzeria of Bleecker Street.
“Our biggest problem is the homeless people who harass customers while they eat outside… Some of them have guns. I had a knife pulled about four months ago. It’s a dangerous situation,” he said.
“I don’t even call (the police) anymore, I just try to shoo them away and they make your life miserable. I’m basically just taking them away from the customers.”
Lobsang Tsering, an employee at La Vid Wine & Spirits, told the Post that he once called the police about a homeless man — only to have him brazenly return to the Sixth Avenue store days later.
“Sometimes homeless people come in and don’t want to get out, they sit in here,” Tsering said. “A homeless man said to me, ‘Call (the) police, I want to go to jail.’ Then he would come back in two days.”
In other areas of the city that have long had high crime rates, the latest crime data for 2022 is just as grim. In the Bronx’s 44th Ward, for example, serious crimes rose to 2,238 this year, compared to 1,518 in 2021 — a 47.4% increase.
Still, the 6th Ward isn’t the only upscale neighborhood in Manhattan where crime has skyrocketed.
The normally crime-free 1st Precinct, which covers the Financial District, is #7 on the list of highest crime increases – up 65% this year.
The figures show that there are up to 1,152 major crimes in the Wall Street neighborhood, compared to 696 in the same period last year.
“The criminals now know that they can go to the high-price areas and there will be no consequences. So now they can go to the 6th Ward, the 1st Ward, where the tourists are, and it’s the same as if they’re in a higher crime neighborhood,” a veteran Manhattan cop told The Post.
“Why rob someone there when you can rob someone who is rich and there are no consequences?”
The 10 NYPD commandos south of 59th Street — known as the Patrol Borough Manhattan South — have seen a huge 51% increase in crime, resulting in a 36% increase in major crimes citywide compared to the same period in 2021 has, as numbers show.
In Chelsea, which is overseen by the NYPD’s 10th Precinct, serious crimes are up nearly 39% — a few percentage points higher than the current citywide rate.
The number of grand thefts in this neighborhood has risen 48% this year to 418 reported incidents, compared to 282 last year, the data shows.
“The captain of the local precinct seems to be listening, but his story seems to be the same every time. It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re arresting these people, but they’ll be back on the streets within hours,'” Barry Sutton, 59, from Chelsea, told The Post.
“So there doesn’t seem to be much they can do.”
https://nypost.com/2022/08/17/west-village-is-epicenter-of-rising-big-apple-crime-nypd-data/ West Village is epicenter of rising Big Apple crime: NYPD data