Police: Burglars entering through fire-escape windows

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61st Precinct

Sheepshead Bay—Homecrest— Manhattan Beach—Gravesend

Cops: lock your windows

Police are asking high-rise renters to lock their fire-escape windows, siting several burglaries in the past week that could have been prevented with a simple turn of the latch.

“Right now, there’s a condition where there are a lot of burglaries involving fire escapes,” said a source with the 61st Precinct.

• A thief struck gold when he ransacked a woman’s E. 18th Street apartment on Feb. 3 — taking thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

The victim told police she left her apartment between Quentin Road and Avenue R at 6:05 pm, and returned at 10:30 pm to find that she was out nearly $15,000 worth of precious stones.

Chances are, the burglars would have passed on the horde of jewelry if the owner had just locked her window and drew the blinds, according to police.

“They’re not looking to make noise, they’re looking for easy pickings,” said a source within the precinct. “If your window’s open, they go right in.”

• A crook also nabbed a man’s iPod from his Ocean Avenue apartment on Jan. 30.

The victim told police that he left his home between Voorhies and Jerome avenues at 8:15 am, and returned at 11 pm to find that his window leading to the fire escape open and his iPod gone.

The source said locking a window is just as important to safety and security as locking the front door is.

“It’s weird in a way. People who have a window facing a fire escape think, because it’s not a door, you can leave it unlocked,” said the police source. “The truth is, almost anybody can have access to the fire escape. A lot of people don’t use their windows facing the fire escape, but they don’t lock them. Lock everything.”


A thief ransacked a man’s E. 12th Street apartment on Feb. 1, and took a laptop and personal documents.

The victim told police that he left his home between Avenue Z and Voorhies Avenue at 6:30 am, and returned at 8:30 pm to find his front window open.

He told police the crook nabbed his pricey computer, green card, driver’s license, and Social Security card, cops said.

A flower for free

A thief with a sense of romance — but not decency — stole a $6,000 flower rack Voorhies Avenue flower store on Feb. 1.

The victim told police that he closed up his shop between E. 14th Street and Sheepshead Bay Road at 11 pm, and returned at 7 am the next day to find that his rack, which wasn’t secured to anything, was gone.

Pay day

A burglar plundered a woman’s E. 22nd Street home on Feb. 2 — taking video game consoles, Apple products, a TV, and a bevy of various designer items.

The victim told police that she left her home between Avenues Y and Z at 5:15 pm, and returned about an hour later to discover a shattered kitchen window, her apartment in shambles, and her items missing.

Brutal beating

A 34-year-old man was arrested for allegedly beating a woman on Ocean Avenue on Jan. 30.

The victim told police that she was between Avenues Y and Z at 9:30 pm when the suspect grabbed her hair, bit her lip, and hurled her to the ground.

Safe ride

A woman was robbed by two livery cab drivers outside of her Shore Parkway home on Feb. 3.

The victim told police that she was heading home in a livery cab after a night of partying in Long Island City when the cab driver suddenly pulled his car to the curb and claimed he had a flat tire. The driver called for another cab, and both he and the victim hopped into the back seat of the second cab.

When they got to the victim’s house between E. 16th Street and Sheepshead Bay Road at 6:45 am, she got out of the cab and reached in through the window to pay the driver, but he grabbed her purse, which held her iPhone and $600, and drove off, cops said.

Without a center

A thief looted a man’s car parked along Ocean parkway on Feb. 2 — taking his navigation system and center console.

The victim told police that he parked his car between Avenues T and U at 11 pm, and returned at 8 am the next day to find his rear window busted and the center consol, along with all the knobs and dials for his heat, air conditioning, and radio, gone.

Knife to meet you

Two knife-wielding goons stole $2,600 and a laptop from a man on Wolf Place on Jan. 30.

The victim told police that he was near W. Sixth Street at 9:45 pm when the duo ambushed him, placed a knife to his neck, and demanded his wallet. The victim handed it over, and the goons grabbed his backpack, slashed at him, and fled.

— Colin Mixson

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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