Everyone knows that Park Slope is a car thief’s paradise — but something about one quiet block makes it a crook’s nirvana!
Greg Brooks, who lives on 10th Street between Prospect Park West and Eighth Avenue, says that at least one dozen cars were broken into on his block in the last five months — including his own ride twice! On both occasions, the thugs only took his airbag, though they did leave him stuck with the bill for a rental car and a deductible from his insurance company.
And the crime wave is apparently continuing unabated. The day this story was posted online, the thieves were still plying their trade on the block. Atkins emerged Friday morning from his apartment to find glass scattered about the curb — a telltale sign of a car break-in. Atkins said it had to have happened in the last 48 hours.
“It’s terrible,” said Greg Brooks. “I lived here for 33 years and been through all kinds of ups and downs — but this is not a good feeling.”
Now Brooks parks at a garage on 12th Street because he’s so weary of emerging from his home to another shattered car window. Just two weeks ago, there was an Infiniti on cinder blocks with all four wheels missing, he said. And last Tuesday, Atkins spotted yet another four-door with its driver side window shattered (pictured).
But Brooks is far from the only one in the neighborhood worried about kleptomaniacs raiding his ride.
“I’ve seen cars with all their wheels removed and a few had their windows smashed and things taken,” said Dahlia Kaufman, who lives on the shockingly sketchy block in one of the toniest parts of Park Slope. “My window was smashed recently, but I don’t know what they were looking for because nothing was taken.”
Another person had suffered the same auto-indignity as Brooks.
“Our airbags were stolen just two or three months ago,” said Abe McNally, another resident. “It was someone who knew what he was doing — the alarm didn’t even go off.”
An NYPD source said that the break-ins are not limited to just 10th Street, and that they are actively investigating the crimes. The source urged victims to always file a police report, as that is key to nabbing the culprits.
Readers of our weekly police blotter from Park Slope certainly know that car theft and break-ins are typically the most frequent. In March, as The Brooklyn Paper’s interactive crime database reveals, 15 cars were either stolen or broken into.
And according to NYPD statistics, car thefts are up 23 percent in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, though the raw numbers are too low — 21 thefts this year compared to 17 last year — to be statistically significant.
— with Claire Glass