By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Stuyvesant Town management sent a newsletter around to residents earlier this week warning about an increase in building break-ins throughout the complex and warning against allowing non-residents to “piggy-back” inside.
StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk told Town & Village that none of the incidents mentioned in the email were new and had all been reported in the last six months. The incidents included the assault of a woman who had been hired by residents and was attacked after security buzzed her into the Stuyvesant Town building and a man followed her inside, in addition to a teenager who was mugged in a Peter Cooper Village vestibule last fall.
One incident that Town & Village did not learn of at the time was an apartment break-in that occurred within the last few months where a man followed a resident into the building and started checking for open doors. Finding one, he began taking things from an apartment and was leaving as a teenage resident was returning. The resident wasn’t harmed and the suspect hasn’t been arrested.
This incident wasn’t publicized at the time because the resident requested that it not be made public, although Hayduk noted that it was reported to the NYPD.
Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman also noted at the 13th Precinct community council’s most recent meeting on Tuesday evening that package thefts have been up in the neighborhood, with two suspects being arrested for a string of six incidents in Stuyvesant Town on Christmas after they managed to get into multiple buildings. Hayduk noted in the email that package thefts have increased on the property and often occur when non-residents manage to piggy-back into the buildings.
Following the email from Hayduk last week, the NYPD sent out a notice this Wednesday about a burglary that occurred in a Peter Cooper Village building at East 23rd Street and Avenue C at the end of last year. It was unclear if police believe that the suspect piggy-backed into the building but he did not appear to be a resident. Police said that the man entered an apartment on December 30 around 6 p.m. and stole a resident’s wallet before fleeing the location.
Peter Cooper Village resident and Tenants Association board member Anne Greenberg mentioned at the Community Council meeting that there seemed to be an increase in incidents in Peter Cooper buildings along Avenue C. She asked Hellman if it would be possible to increase patrols in the area and he responded that while he hadn’t noticed a specific increase there he would look into it.
Although none of the incidents noted in the email from management occurred in the last couple of days, the newsletter said that reported incidents had increased over the holiday season.
“We felt it the appropriate time to remind residents to not allow someone they don’t know into their buildings,” Hayduk said. “Each of our unfortunate incidents has involved someone piggy-backing in.”