Video: Armed robber steals $100K in merchandise in jewelry heist in police-defunded NYC

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Police in New York City are looking to identify an armed robber that was caught on surveillance camera robbing a jewelry store earlier in September. Authorities say that the suspect got away with $100,000 in jewelry during the robbery.

The robbery occurred on September 7th at approximately 4:45 p.m. in the area of 445 Albee Square.

The suspect enters the jewelry store armed with a handgun and fires off one round and begins pointing the firearm at various display cabinets, seemingly directing employees on what to remove and then hands an employee a Target shopping bag.

Footage from the incident shows the suspect, who appears to be a black male, wearing a grey sweatshirt and face mask along with what appears to be a pizza delivery backpack, according to the Daily Mail.

The suspect in the video managed to take off with $100,000 in jewelry and $875 in cash. Luckily, no one was hurt during the robbery. A reward for up to $3,500 is available for information that can lead to the suspect being identified and arrested.

Anyone with information on the incident or the suspect’s identity/whereabouts is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

In a bit of irony, the brazen armed robbery occurred on the same day that Mayor Bill de Blasio was quoted during a press briefing as saying the following:

“The good news is New York is turning the corner when it comes to public safety. We have a lot more to go.”

Said comments from Mayor de Blasio came in response to reports showing that violent crime had fallen in June, July, and August when compared to the same period during 2020.

Some of the decreases in violent offenses in New York City are rather promising, as June saw a 23% decrease in murder, along with July seeing a 49% decrease and August almost 9%.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea voiced similar sentiments to that of Mayor de Blasio, making reference to turning “the corner” in recent months:

“I am happy to report we are now three months in the bank where we have really turned the corner in terms of pushing back on that violence.”

However, these decreases in violent offenses are compared to the summer of 2020 – a period of time that served as an anomaly in crime surges on a national level. When comparing the current crime statistics in New York City to the same period in 2019, data shows that there’s a 39% increase in murders and 96% increase in shootings.

Also, reported hate crimes in 2021 as compared to 2020 have soared in New York City – with bias crimes against Asians up by 375%, crimes against the LGBT community up by 314%, and crimes against the Jewish community up by 51%.

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Man attacked at ATM by hatchet-wielding man in police-defunded New York City

(Originally published August 18th, 2021)

MANHATTAN, NY – A 50-year old man was simply trying to get some cash out of an ATM in a JPMorgan Chase bank ATM vestibule.

It was a little after 5 pm last Sunday in New York City’s Financial District. As he paid attention to the transaction he was attempting on the screen, another man walked around the inside of the vestibule before approaching his victim. 

He introduced himself to the unsuspecting man by swinging the hatchet at his leg, striking him and drawing blood. What happened over the next :50 seconds was hard to watch. 

The assailant followed his victim around the lobby, swinging his weapon and pushing the man to the ground. As the video progresses, you can see the victim, who attempted to fight off his attacker, bleeding profusely from the head. 

According to the Daily Mail, he was struck once in the leg and three times in the head. The assailant then smashed the screens of the ATMs before he dropped the hatchet and fled the scene. 

“It’s crazy,” a witness said. “People were shouting and we saw the guy laying down – a lot of blood.”  

EMS arrived on the scene and treated the man before transporting him the Bellevue Hospital where he is in stable condition. 

The New York Post conducted a bedside interview.  

“‘A man was there with a hatchet and [hit] my head…and my leg,’ said the victim in Spanish.”

Police say that the attack appeared to be unprovoked and the victim did not know the attacker. They believed that the attack was random.

A little before 10 pm on Tuesday evening, a man matching the suspect’s description was smashing windows.

Police intervened in the vandalism and escorted him to Bellevue for psychological evaluation. As of this writing, no arrests had been made and it was unclear of the suspect and the 37-year old individual apprehended by police were the same man. 

It makes you wonder how long this attack would have lasted and how extensive the victim’s injuries would have been had New York City allowed constitutional carry or greater access to concealed carry permits. 

This is a developing story. Law Enforcement Today will provide updates as they become available. 

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Residents seek return of plainclothes cops amid rising gun violence in police-defunded New York City

(Originally published August 13th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – According to reports, many locals and business owners in Harlem are asking for an increase in police presence in the area, including bringing back plainclothes NYPD officers, to help combat the concerning levels of gun violence in the area.

In Harlem, the 32nd Precinct is one of the areas where gun violence has increased the most.

Shootings have increased by over 60% in the neighborhood this year compared to the same period of 2020.

Local restaurant owners claim that some of their customers have voiced concerns about potentially being shot by a stray bullet while dining on the street.

As of August 12th, 2021, the 32nd Precinct has seen 31 shooting incidents, whereas there were only 19 during the same timespan in 2020.

Alex Price, who operates the Cantina Restaurant on Lenox Avenue, is among those restaurateurs that would like to see more police in the area to help deter violent crime:

“I would feel more safe for me and my clients that we would have a little bit more police presence here.”

From 124th to 129th Street, business owners voiced concerns about the dramatic rise in shootings and crime, and what this represents for their customers’ safety.

Alpheaus Marcus, a local community activist, mirrored worries about patrons of outdoor dining establishments becoming the victims of “one of these bullets”:

“With the business establishments having outside events, the concern is one of these bullets, like we see in the city so many times, actually striking a patron.”

Marcus added that he’d like to see Mayor Bill de Blasio reinstate the plainclothes unit within the NYPD before he exits office in the coming months:

“What we want is, especially de Blasio with his last four months to stop playing politics. We want them to reactivate the plainclothes unit, because, again, these shootings are reckless and senseless.”

The NYPD’s plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit was disbanded during the summer of 2020, but plainclothes units have reemerged in the Bronx borough in recent months in an effort to curtail gang activity and drug crimes.

Local Travaulya Wallace believes that a plainclothes unit coming to help out in Harlem could be beneficial to the area:

“I do believe that there should be different type of officers in different type of clothing. Some outfits are intimidating, right? It can provoke some people to want to push against.”

Business owners along the strip running from 124th to 129th Street have also noted that a contributing factor to the gun crime in the area stems from the like of gang members and drug dealers establishing or holding down their territory.

Donnell Van Duyne remarked on that aspect impacting the area:

“In the area there’s a lot of gang violence. A lot of young kids are getting shot. Honestly speaking, it’s over nothing and it’s putting a lot of lives in danger.”

Mayoral candidate Eric Adams would like to see a full-on return of the plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit, having mentioned back in April that the decision to disband the unit during the summer of 2020 was akin to throwing “out the baby with the bathwater”:

“We should not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Having a good Anti-Crime team will continue to take guns off the streets…We can do it right, we’ll get it right, and we’ll make sure our city is safe.”

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