NEW YORK -- It's a distinction no neighborhood wants in New York City. Manhattan's 6th Precinct, which includes the West Village and Greenwich Village, has seen the largest spike in crime in the five boroughs.
CBS2's Andrea Grymes spoke with residents and business owners on Thursday.
At New University Pen & Stationery on Bleecker Street, owner Muhammed Akmal has grown used to shoplifters.
"Sometimes they come two, three times a day. Sometimes they don't show up like two, three days, at least once a week, always something happens," Akmal said.
At least once a week -- and he's not alone.
The latest NYPD statistics show shoplifting and grand larcenies are helping to fuel a huge increase in crime in the 6th Precinct, which includes the trendy neighborhoods of the West Village and Greenwich Village, along with Washington Square Park, where one man seemed to be bathing in the fountain on Thursday afternoon.
Among all 77 NYPD precincts, the 6th has seen the largest spike in felony crime -- an 80.2 percent increase -- compared to the same period last year.
"I can see that. It's a drag because I don't even go out at night anymore and that's not me," one resident said.
"Wow," another resident said, adding when asked if the numbers are startling, "Yeah it does. It does surprise me."
The latest numbers show in the 6th:
- Burglaries are up 119 percent
- Grand larcenies are up more than 100 percent
- Car thefts are up 39 percent
- Robberies are up 45 percent
- Rapes are up nearly 43 percent
There have been two murders so far this year, compared to none during the same period last year.
The glimmer of good news is felony assaults are down nearly 4 percent.
"There are some real criminals in the streets. Let's face the facts, alright?" business owner Jamal Alnasr said.
Alnasr owns Village Revival records" in Greenwich Village. He said he rarely calls the police because, it seems, anything goes these days.
"We need to enforce some laws a little tougher, I guess," he said.
CBS2 did reach out to the NYPD for comment on these crime stats, but did not hear back. The numbers do show that while crime is up in the 6th Precinct, arrests, are up, too, by some 40 percent.
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