New Yorkers are getting back to normalcy with the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic loosening — and thieves are no exception.
Grand larcenies have surged across the city over the past four weeks, with potential victims once again packing restaurants, bars, stores and public transit, according to NYPD statistics and police sources.
Cops citywide fielded 2,683 complaints for grand larceny — thefts in which the proceeds exceed $1,000 — during the 28-day period ending Sunday, department figures show.
That marks a 36.9 percent spike from the 1,960 such calls taken during the same stretch in 2020, when much of New York was locked down amid the public-health crisis — driving the city’s grand larceny numbers to a low not seen in decades.
The department tallied 35,505 grand larcenies in all of 2020, the lowest yearly total of the 21st century by a margin of more than 2,300, department stats show.
That plunge came even as some other crimes, particularly gun violence, thrived amid the pandemic.
Burglaries also soared during the lockdown — with 15,478 reported in 2020, the most for a single year since 2014.
Over the 28-day period ending Sunday, however, burglaries were down 49.5 percent, building on a yearlong trend in which they’ve declined by 24.6 percent so far in 2021.
Police sources pointed to a lack of potential victims out and about in 2020 for thieves to target, as well as the mass closures of traditional feeding grounds for crooks.
“Last year the city was a ghost town,” said one Manhattan cop. “Stores, bars and restaurants were closed.”
Though grand larcenies are slightly down for the year through Sunday — 13,655, compared to 14,219 to the same point in 2020, a 4-percent dip — sources said that the past month’s upward trajectory will likely persist as New York continues to more closely resemble its pre-pandemic self.
“It was only going to be a matter of time before grand larcenies went up,” said a second cop, also assigned to Manhattan. “Things are starting to open up.”
Both sources also said that many alleged thieves are repeat offenders cut loose to steal again thanks to bail-reform laws, which only allow for bail in first-degree grand larceny cases with proceeds exceeding $1 million.
“No bail helps, too,” said the second Manhattan cop, referring to the uptick in grand larcenies. “We keep arresting the same people over and over.”
Added the first Manhattan police source, “Obviously, the more people coming into the city, the more victims. It doesn’t help that even the people we arrest get right out.”