https://nypost.com/2022/12/25/trendiest-nyc-neighborhoods-terrorized-by-thieves-nypd-stats/

Manhattan’s trendiest tourist-packed neighborhoods have become increasingly terrorized by brazen thieves who are leaving shop workers stymied and scared.

Grand larcenies, or thefts of $1,000 or more, have soared up to over 60% in Gotham precincts in the past year, according to the latest NYPD stats — and some business owners blame the state’s lax bail laws for dumping suspects back on the streets to strike again.

“There’s a true belief out there among criminals that they’re going to get away with it,” Jim Giddon, whose Rothmans men’s clothing store in Gramercy was once robbed twice in about a week by the same gang, told The Post.

The grand-larceny crisis is so bad that Mayor Eric Adams held a “summit’’ with business leaders at Gracie Mansion earlier this month to deal with the spike in retail thefts, although sources said he left the two-hour powwow after about 20 minutes.

Grand larcenies have soared up to over 60% in Gotham precincts in the past year.
Gabriella Bass

“That doesn’t sound much like a summit,’’ Giddon said.

In the 13th district, grand larcenies increased to 998 incidents from 796.
In the 13th Precinct, grand larceny jumped 25.4 percent.
Gabriella Bass

Grand larcenies have shot up about 27.6% citywide so far this year over the same period in 2021, with the largest increase — 63.4 percent — in the Midtown South Precinct, which includes Times Square, Grand Central Terminal and Madison Square Garden. That means 2,287 incidents this year versus 1,387 in 2021 for the Manhattan precinct.

Gary Karry, the manager at Gem Pawnbrokers on Eighth Avenue between West 39th and 40th streets, recalled how a crook easily snatched a ring and glasses worth more than $1,000 from his store over the summer.

“He said, ‘Oh, let me see that ring, I used to have something like this,’ ” said store sales manager Ligia Kourany — noting that the “customer’’ told her he had just gotten out of jail and that a relative was going to buy him the ring.

“I showed him the ring,” Kourany said.

“Then he said ‘Oh, you have Cartier glasses, let me see them.’ He liked nice things. I gave him the glasses,” the manager said. “He saw an opportunity to run because we buzzed the door open for someone else, and he ran.”

But Karry said he’ll be ready if anyone tries to pull the same stunt again.

“I have a big machete if I need it,” he said.

Last week, Adams conceded that “grand larcenies are killing our [crime] stats in the city’’ — and it’s not just businesses that are getting targeted.

“Tourists are often getting robbed on our block,” said Shahid Munir, manager of Antiques on 5th in the precinct.

“The cops have come to our store at least five times this year to get our surveillance footage of robberies outside our store.”

Ava Homsey, 22, of Yonkers, who moved to New York from Boston earlier this year, said, “Things are just getting worse.

“People are getting more desperate,’’ Homsey said. “We’re in tough times. … I heard that it’s so much different than last year.”

Gerard Pozo, 40, an accountant from Harlem, called the perception of rampant crime “crazy, it really is.

“Crime comes and goes, but it’s 100% worse right now. I hope the city gets safer,” he said.

In the Sixth Precinct, which includes Greenwich Village, grand larcenies have jumped a whopping 57.3%, from 853 incidents to 1,340, the data show.

One of those crimes occurred at the NuFrame gallery on 10th Street on Sept. 13.

Framing consultant Rachel Lipscomb, 25, was working by herself at the gallery around 6 p.m. when a thief swiped a framed photograph worth an estimated $2,500.

“I heard yelling down the street. These two men came rushing into the store and were like, ‘Call the police!’ ” Lipscomb said.

She said a third man ran into the store chasing them. They were all yelling at each other.

Mayor Eric Adams held a “summit” with business leaders at Gracie Mansion earlier this month to deal with the spike in retail thefts.
Matthew McDermott

“The guy who ran in last just grabbed one [piece of art] and left,’’ the worker  said. “So I chased him. He was just really pissed. We tug-of-warred with it until he acted like he was going to hit me with it.”

The thief told Lipscomb matter-of-factly he could steal whatever he wanted.

Lipscomb recalled saying, “Dude, you can’t take that. Hey, you can’t steal that.”

“Yes, I can,” the thief replied.

“What the f–k, dude. You can’t take that!” the clerk said.

She finally let the frame go, and the thief took off.

The NYPD said the same thief who took the art also pulled off a robbery in the nearby First Precinct two days earlier, on Sept. 11, at Prince Street and Thompson Street.

The suspect approached an 82-year-old man who was sitting on a stoop and snatched his cellphone from his hand before fleeing southbound on West Broadway on his bicycle, cops said.

In the First Precinct, grand larcenies also rose from 819 to 1,184 incidents, for a 44.6% increase. The precinct is home to the World Trade Center, Soho, Tribeca and Wall Street.

Grand larcenies have also increased steeply in the Fifth Precinct — which covers Chinatown and the Bowery — where the crime has risen from 408 to 613 incidents, or 50.2%.

“One of my employees got punched in the face, and our employees are scared, as they should be.”

Jim Giddon

In the 13th Precinct, where the store Giddon owns was robbed, grand larceny jumped 25.4 percent, or to 998 incidents from 796.

In two heists days apart, the same robbery crew “mostly grabbed outerwear, more expensive winter coats,” he said.

“One of my employees got punched in the face, and our employees are scared, as they should be,” Giddon said.

He said he decided to begin locking the 18th Street entrance to the store and put security at the front entrance during business hours, which he’s sure has cost him business as customers tug on the door handle and walk away.

In the First Precinct, grand larcenies also rose from 819 to 1,184 incidents.
At NuFrame Gallery, an unidentified individual removed a framed picture from the wall.
DCPI

“It’s sad for the city that businesses like us have to lock our doors and you have to ring to enter,” the shop owner said. “It’s a sad state of affairs.”

Giddon serves on a task force that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg created to examine the problem of retail thefts.

Bragg has been a major proponent of the state’s bail reform laws, which bar judges from setting bail for most crimes, a situation that critics say leads to criminals being dumped back on the streets to commit more illegal acts. 

“The recidivists are making it difficult for everybody,” Giddon said. 

“The politicians who hurried and created a bail law, which was well-intentioned, need to really go back to school and figure out how to make it more reasonable.”

Additional reporting by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

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