NYPD warns SoHo residents and visitors not to watch valuables



March 4, 2023 | 8:42 a.m

It is a sign of crimes.

The New York Police Department has placed a large flashing sign in the heart of SoHo warning drivers to “Watch Out for Vehicle Break-ins” and not to leave valuables in their cars.

Electronic Warning stands at the corner of Prince Street and West Broadway, in an area that was once considered one of the most elegant areas of the Big Apple—but has recently been a playground for thieves. In the latest heist, bandits last month collected $52,000 worth of shoes, bags and clothing from the Givenchy store on Green Street.

“It’s sad — I’ve noticed a lot has changed here in recent years. It’s sad to see the birth of all the graffiti and crime,” said Simon Mulligan, 50, a pianist from New Jersey, visiting a friend in Soho this week.

NYPD officers watch in SoHo as thefts lead to warning drivers.
Helen Seidman

He continued that the sign sends the message: “This is a dodgy neighborhood, stay out.”

Eva Bisselman, a 43-year-old Brazilian landscape designer who visits New York City frequently, said she was “shocked.”

“I didn’t know it was going on here, I just thought it was all right,” Bieselman said. “Seeing this here, I thought ‘Wow, that doesn’t really belong here.’ I’ll say I’m surprised it shouldn’t be like that, right? There are a lot of tourists and I think it’s a really expensive neighborhood.”

Musician Simon Mulligan said that the NYPD’s burglary warning sign indicates that SoHo is a “sneaky neighborhood”.
Helen Seidman
Tourist Eva Bisselmann from Brazil said she was shocked to see a sign warning of theft in Soho.
Helen Seidman

But Zoran Kemkovic, 54, an artist who sells his paintings at the corner of Prince Street and West Broadway, said crime had become commonplace and his artwork was passed on when he moved away briefly. His truck was also broken into in Soho about three months ago.

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“I’d see groups of guys running around with stuff from stores. It’s kind of obvious [theft] Smkovich said. “You can see some dodgy characters here. You see a lot of characters screaming and screaming and punching in the air.”

There were 17 car thefts in SoHo as of Feb. 26, up from 16 during the same period in 2022, according to the New York Police Department, which said most of them occurred near where the sign was placed.

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