Another Rooftop Burglary

I’ve heard from a reader than there was another rooftop burglary over the weekend—this one at 77 Reade.

The full list is below; the dates are when the break-in occurred. As noted in this post, east of Broadway is a different precinct (5th), which is why the 1st Precinct may not realize the extent of the problem. If anyone attends the NYPD 1st Precinct’s Community Council meeting on Thursday (6:30 p.m. at the police station at Varick and Ericsson), we’d all love a report. I’ll be out of town again.

••• January: “We live in east Tribeca, just off Broadway. In January, our apartment with a terrace (and at least one other rooftop terrace apartment nearby) were broken into by someone who gained access through the roof of another building.”

••• Three times since January 1: “Top-floor office in southeast Tribeca has been broken into three times since the start of the year.”

••• This past winter: “I live at 47 Walker Street and was broken into this past winter. The robber came up the stairs at 49 Walker crossed to my roof and forced my terrace door open. He was seen as he made his way back down the stairs but wasn’t caught.”

••• April 5: “A man either psychotic or on drugs (as stated by the cops) used the scaffolding at #42 [Walker] to get onto their fire escape & climb onto the scaffolding & fire escape at #38. he RAILED, SCREAMED, SWORE & pounded on the fire escape & fire escape door windows, breaking windows on the 3rd & upper floors.”

••• Early April: “Someone jumped onto the terrace of one of the penthouses in my building from the building next door then tried kicking in the door. The guy must have thought that the apt was empty but the woman that lived there was home and called the po. When I spoke to one of the cops at the scene, he had said that the same thing happened earlier that night on Duane Street, and was the 3rd one in the neighborhood that weekend. I live Bway/Franklin.”

••• May 3: “I live on Leonard Street and someone broke into my apartment this past Friday by forcing my terrace window open.”

••• Week of May 6: “One of the rooftop terraces at 110 Duane St was robbed”

••• Week of May 6: “A dude was caught on the fire escape of our [Walker Street] building at 2 a.m. a couple of nights ago with a backpack.” [Note: This is possibly the same event as the one from early April.]

••• May 10: “My apartment on Warren as broken into on Friday.” Via terrace? Roof? “Terrace. We have video—he came from a building on Chambers and broke into my home from the building next to mine by prying open a window. My alarm went off but not to police—and they can’t figure out why. Frustrating.”

••• May 24: Burglary via rooftop at 77 Reade.

If you’re aware of more break-ins, please let me know (, 917-209-6473, anonymity guaranteed). And if your apartment is accessible via terrace or rooftop, please make sure to lock your doors, keep a light on, get motion-sensor lights, and do whatever else might help protect your home.



  1. How do you now this is out of the normal range? You have no comparisons. This is New York and crimes happen.

  2. @Liz: Two weeks ago, Eugene Schatz of Community Affairs at the NYPD’s 1st Precinct acknowledged that the frequency was out of the ordinary.

  3. So true. Thank you, Liz, for your simplistic clarity. This is New York and we must accept that crime happens on a daily basis. Why fight it? Keep quiet and embrace it! Why not treat burglars like Santa Claus? Place all of your valuables under an ornamented tree, leave your doors & windows unlocked and anxiously await your burglars arrival!! Giving is better than receiving. And don’t forget to leave some milk & cookies.
    *This comment has not been endorsed by the NYPD or your local neighborhood watch.

  4. Hi Erik,

    Do you know when these burglaries usually take place? Is it at night/weekends? Or during the day when at work? Any insite would be appreciated as I do have a fire escape on my building.


  5. @Randy: What Eugene Schatz said was “They are occurring in the evening and early morning hours between Thursday and Sunday.”

  6. Erik,

    thank you for your reporting on this! My neighbor and I were among the first penthouse break-ins in January and one of her friends was the Memorial weekend target. I was told that the family felt that they had to have been watched as they were home for the weekend, left briefly to run an errand and he swooped in and robbed them while they were out.

    Also, the early April break-in noted above is actually one of my neighbors writing about our January break-in, so you can note that correction.

    Timing? My dog was barking by the window around 6 and I left at 6:10. The guy must have come up on the roof then as he broke into the back penthouse around 6:15 – 6:20 on a Friday. Then, he ran back over to my roof, came in but didn’t take anything and must have jumped back over to next roof (about a 6 – 7 foot drop).

    Frequency? I have lived here for over 29 years. Anecdotally, as mother of three who all went to PS 234 and my access to the mommy network, this has essentially been a crime free ‘hood. I do not remember any significant events over the years.

    Our building had one break in shortly after it converted to residential in 1985, which the police thought was one of the construction workers. There was a break-in in the late 90s where someone gained access distributing coupon flyers around the building. He pushed in the AC and crawled through the sleeve and took computers, cameras etc.

    Very upsetting that this keeps occurring. I hope he is caught soon.

  7. Please go to monthly police precinct community council meetings. There is one tonight at 6pm. They are always held at 1st Precinct. Back in the day we had NYPD approved block watchers (1980 /1990) and I caught a robber late at night breaking in to local store.We were given special code and phone # and training.