A man was captured on crystal-clear home security video burglarizing an apartment inside an Upper East Side building, one of three he broke into in the same afternoon, police say.
Police said the man entered a building on East 86th St. at about 4 p.m. on July 4 and got into three separate apartments, taking jewelry from each one.
The video released by police shows the man inside a bedroom, rummaging through drawers as he unknowingly looks directly into the security camera aimed into the center of the room.
In one of the other targeted apartments, the man took an estimated $40,000 in jewelry, the resident there said. She told NBC 4 New York that the thief left her apartment very neat; she only realized her home had been burglarized when she returned home from the holiday weekend and started opening boxes to find them empty.
"You start to shake and you start to feel like you've been violated." said the woman, who asked not to be identified.
Among the stolen items were her wedding ring and a valuable her parents had purchased for her when she was 5 years old to give to her on her wedding day. It's the sentiment behind the jewels that mean more to her, she said.
The victim said police told her that the suspect has a pattern: he goes straight for the bedroom to swipe the pricey valuables. In this building, he apparently had no idea a camera was trained on him.
The woman said her apartment has a slam lock, but she didn't deadbolt the door before leaving for the holiday. The suspect was in and out of the building in two hours, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.