Hell’s Kitchen mystery: Man claims someone ransacked his apartment while he was on vacation

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NEW YORK — Imagine going on vacation and coming home to a surprising mess inside your home.

A renter on Manhattan’s West Side claims someone got into his apartment and trashed the place, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported Thursday.

“It’s really unnerving,” Hell’s Kitchen resident Thomas Mayo-Smith said.

Mayo-Smith claims someone got into his Silver Towers apartment while he was on vacation. He said he left Sept. 1 and returned on Sept. 6.

“I came back, opened up my door, and I found my apartment completely ransacked. There was drug paraphernalia all over the place,” Mayo-Smith said.

He showed DeAngelis photos of the mess.

“This is all the stuff they left on my coffee table. My tax documents, health documents were strewn across my bed,” he said.

Mayo-Smith said a strange pair of sneakers and suitcase were left behind, along with an unusual note, which reads, “25 more moves to go.”

Items he said were missing include his scooter, an old iPhone, and a clay mold of his late-dog’s paw print.

“This person just seems like a NetFlix documentary psycho. It’s not someone who had a grudge on me because they didn’t break my TV. They just stole a pretty inexplicable, hard-to-understand combination of things,” Mayo-Smith said.

He said he called the NYPD. He also brought his concerns to building management.

“They have done nothing,” Mayo-Smith said.

“I feel really bad for Thomas and what he experienced, but it just doesn’t add up, and I’m hoping the detectives will figure out what happened here,” said Dara McQuillan, spokesperson for Silverstein Properties.

McQuillan showed CBS2 how the building’s security system works. Each tenant gets a unique digital key to their apartment.

He said the digital system logs every time a key is used to access a unit and he showed DeAngelis the log for Mayo-Smith’s apartment.

“Our log showed us nobody used a key to enter the apartment in the time he was away,” McQuillan said.

McQuillan showed DeAngelis how tenants could leave their doors unlocked, with the flip of a switch, if they choose.

“The only other way a person could have gotten into this apartment is if the switch had been clicked and the door was left open,” McQuillan said.

Police sources told CBS2 there was no sign of forced entry. Mayo-Smith said he’s confident he locked his door when he left.

“I really have no confidence he’s gonna get caught. At this point, I’m just hoping management updates their security protocol. Anybody with a pizza box and an apartment number in their head can get in this building,” Mayo-Smith said.

DeAngelis reached out to the NYPD, which said there’s a report on file for burglary and the investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made.

Police sources said detectives will be reviewing building video as part of the investigation. DeAngelis was told there are cameras in the lobby and elevators.

Mayo-Smith said he feels there should be cameras in hallways and has since installed his own at his apartment.



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