The threat of crime in New York City now comes from all directions, even above.
Hell’s Kitchen residents were shaken this week by social media reports of a man armed with two long knives roaming roof to roof in broad daylight and attempting to break into a five-story West 48th Street co-op through its bulkhead door last Sunday.
Surveillance video obtained by the Post reveals there was a second attempted intrusion of the same building just 12 hours later, before sunrise early Monday morning. It appears to be a different man than the first.
“The city is becoming total insanity,” wrote Andrea Woolf on Nextdoor.
Video of the first attempted break-in shows a thin man with dark clothes and huge mop of black bushy hair climb from a neighboring building. He’s wearing headphones and sporting what appears to be a messenger’s knapsack slung over his left shoulder. He has a large tattoo on the left side of his neck in the shape of a star and indecipherable letters tattooed over his left eyebrow. The backs of both hands are also covered in tattoos.
At one point he casually holds up the blades in his hands as if to show them to the surveillance camera. When his effort to open the door to the building failed, he walked over to the roof of another adjoining building and disappeared from camera view.
“The police know of him and they say he is mentally ill and extremely dangerous,” building resident Lori Goodman posted on Nextdoor with a picture of the man after a meeting with Midtown North Precinct officers.
The attempted break-in is under investigation, police said.
The knife-wielding man made enough noise to grab the attention of the building manager in his top-floor apartment. He ran up to the roof with his wife but saw nothing out of the ordinary. He looked at the video afterward and realized that they missed a face-to-face encounter with the armed man by about 10 seconds.
“It was a close call,” the manager said, adding that in 25 years he’s never known of an armed intruder trying to access the building through its roof.
He was shocked later in the week when he looked at video again and saw the second attempted break-in around 5 a.m. Monday. The man in the video wears a ball cap and mask and is carrying a small thin case in his left hand. He also has a small backpack but different than the one carried by the first man.
Burglaries in New York City are up 37.2 percent so far in 2022, from 218 last year to 299 this year, according to police data.