The West Village is New York’s most fashionable neighborhood this year — for crooks.
The celebrity-packed enclave of tony brownstones, high-end boutiques and jazz clubs has been hit by a plague of theft and robbery — as it has suffered the biggest crime increase of any section of the Big Apple thus far in 2022, new NYPD data shows.
Through the middle of August, the NYPD’s 6th Precinct, which covers both the West Village and Greenwich Village, has seen crime spike 80% — fueled by a 103% increase in grand larceny and shoplifting, the data shows.
Residents and workers are fed up.
“It’s definitely getting worse,” Joe Abbas, owner of the Village Bazaar on 6th Ave., told The Post on Wednesday.
“There’s always shoplifting. I always see police in the corner in the CVS. There’s always police outside.”
The data shows that the 6th Precinct — which is home to high profile residents such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lawrence — has seen 1,380 major crimes in 2022, compared to 766 in the same period in 2021.
The bulk of that crime wave is attributable to a huge number of grand larcenies, which include shoplifting. So far there have been 802 this year, compared to the 394 recorded over the same period last year — a 103% rise, according to the figures.
Anisha Ghale, an employee at Karma Nepal Crafts on Bleeker Street, said the store had to use tactics more common in New York’s higher crime areas to ward off the thieves.
“For the jewelry trays, we had to put double sided tape underneath because they take the whole tray,” Ghale said. “We put tape underneath the trays so it takes some time for them to steal so we can stop them.”
“Crime is increasing day-by-day right now and they’re becoming really fearless,” she told The Post.
“Like even if we say ‘I’ll call 911’ they don’t care about it. They say ‘yeah you can do whatever you want. I don’t care.’ Even if the police come, they take them away, they come after 2 to 3 weeks and do the same thing again.”
Burglaries in the 6th Precinct, meanwhile, are up 119% this year, with 272 offenses compared to the 124 at this point last year.
Several major crimes were up, with 10 rapes reported this year, as opposed to 7 last year and two murders in 2022 as opposed to none in 2021. The only bright spots were that there have been no shootings so far this year in the precinct and a nearly 4% drop in felonious assaults.
Some blamed this disturbing rise in thefts and general crime on bail reform — as under the new rules, virtually all larceny suspects get released without having to post bail or bond.
“This whole bail reform has to go,” Kevin Jackson, the general manager of John’s of Bleecker Street pizzeria, insisted.
“Our biggest issue is with the homeless bothering the customers with the outdoor dining … Some of them do have weapons. I had a knife pulled on me about four months ago. It’s a dangerous situation,” he said.
“I don’t even call (the police) anymore, I just to try shoo them away and they give you a hard time. I basically just guide them away from the customers.”
Lobsang Tsering, an employee at La Vid Wine & Spirits, told The Post that he called the cops on a homeless guy once — only for him to brazenly return to the Sixth Avenue store days later.
“Sometimes homeless people come inside and they don’t want to leave, they sit in here,” Tsering said. “One homeless guy told me ‘call (the) police I want to go to jail’. Then in two days, he’d return back.”
In other precincts in city that have long seen high crime rates, the latest 2022 crime data is just as grim. For example, in the Bronx’s 44th Precinct, major crimes are up to 2,238 this year compared to 1,518 in 2021 — 47.4% increase.
Still, the 6th Precinct isn’t the only Manhattan upmarket area that has seen a sharp increase in crime.
The usually low-crime 1st Precinct, which covers the Financial District, is No. 7 on the list of highest crime increases — with a 65% spike this year.
Major crimes in the neighborhood encompassing Wall Street are up to 1,152 compared to the 696 that occurred over the same period last year, the figures show.
“The criminals know now that they can go into the high price areas and there’s no consequences. So now they can go to the 6th Precinct, the 1st Precinct where the tourists are and it’s the same as being in an higher crimes neighborhood,” a veteran Manhattan cop told The Post.
“Why rob someone there when you can rob someone that’s rich and there’s no consequences?”
The 10 NYPD commands south of 59th Street — known as Patrol Borough Manhattan South — have seen a huge 51% increase in felony crime, driving a 36% overall spike in major crimes citywide compared to the same period in 2021, figures show.
In Chelsea, which is overseen by the NYPD’s 10th Precinct, major crimes are up nearly 39% — a few percentage points higher than the current citywide rate.
Grand larceny in that neighborhood is up 48% to 418 reported incidents so far this year from 282 last year, the data shows.
“The captain at the local precinct seems to be listening but his story seems to be the same thing every time. It’s like ‘hey we arrest these people but they’re back on the street within hours’,” Chelsea resident, Barry Sutton, 59, told The Post.
“So there just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot they can do.”