By Sabina Mollot
The NYPD is hunting at least two men they believe to be behind burglaries at 16 businesses in Gramercy, the East Village and other neighborhoods in Manhattan. They’ve gotten away with money from safes and ATMs as well as other items and in a few cases, they even took evidence from the businesses’ surveillance systems. The two suspects are men, while it wasn’t clear about a third suspect who was present at least during one of the incidents. There are only descriptions of two of the suspects and even those are pretty vague, with the NYPD saying they are white and male.
The amount of cash stolen adds up to $53,900, not including an incident where it wasn’t clear how much was taken.
The stealing spree began on December 9-10 (shortly before or after midnight) when the suspects somehow made their way inside a Dunkin Donuts at 140 East 34th Street. After forcing open a safe and ATM, they fled with a combined $3,800.
Just a few of the other incidents are as follows:
On December 15 at about 1:30 a.m., two of the suspects got inside a Dunkin Donuts at 240 East 23rd Street between Second and Third Avenues through a side door. Once again they forced open a safe and ATM and fled with an undetermined amount of money.
Sometime between December 29 close to midnight and the next morning, the burglars forced open the front door of Japanese restaurant Amazed Place at 689 Ninth Avenue and West 48th Street. There they stole $250 in cash, 15 bottles of liquor, the business’s surveillance system hard drive, a laptop and two tablets.
On December 30 at 10 p.m., they forced open a side door at Chopt, a salad restaurant at 18 East 23rd Street and Madison Avenue. There they were able to force open a safe, which contained $3,000.
On either late December 30 or the morning of December 31, they got into Red House, a Chinese takeout place on 203 East 14th Street and Third Avenue, by forcing open the basement door. There they snatched $1,000 in cash.
On December 31 at 2 a.m., three individuals forced open an exit door at Otto’s Tacos at 141 Second Avenue and East 9th Street. They attempted to pry open the cash register and an office door but were unsuccessful. They fled the location emptyhanded when a store employee entered the establishment. (The owner declined to comment when called about the incident.)
At around the same time, the burglars successfully managed to get inside Mango Mango at 23 St. Marks Place by forcing open the front door. They stole $350 in cash and the business’s surveillance system hard drive.
The burglars also stole numerous keys from the BNS Real Estate office at 1536 Third Avenue at East 87th Street on January 10 at about 10:30 p.m. after forcing open a front door.
The most recent incident known to police was at Dos Toros Taqueria at 1111 Lexington Avenue and East 78th Street sometime between January 10 close to midnight and the next morning. This time two safes that contained about $8,000 in cash and the store’s surveillance system hard drive were taken.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.