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‘Smash And Grab’ Robbers Cause Havoc In Financial District

Cops: Over Last 6 Weeks Duo Has Had Its Way With Restaurant Security
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Smash and grab robberies

Crepes du Nord in the Financial District was hit hard by a pair of robbers recently. It was just the latest in a series of robberies at area establishments that have police baffled. (Photo: CBS 2)

hazelsanchez Hazel Sanchez
Hazel Sanchez joined CBS 2 in 2000 as a general assignment...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police said the duo stuffed their pockets in the Financial District. Authorities said the suspects hit several lower Manhattan restaurants for hundreds of dollars in cash and liquor.

Daring, determined and caught on tape, a pair of burglars smashed through the glass door of Crepes du Nord in lower Manhattan and then quickly made a dash for cash in the register.

“It’s not a nice thing to know that somebody did violate your space and it’s an uncomfortable thing,” owner Morten Sohlberg said.

Sohlberg said the suspects, thankfully, only were able to nab about $300 in petty cash.

“They seem to be very opportunistic, maybe like party punks,” Sohlberg said.

But the “punks” didn’t stop there. Police said the men busted into Ancora Ristorante just a few blocks away later that night.

“Well, they took some money and they took some wine,” Ancora owner Tony Fantastico said.

Fantastico said the thieves stole $2,000 from his register and $3,000 worth of wine. Police believe over the last six weeks the same burglars have netted thousands of dollars in cash, computers, wine and booze from at least eight lower Manhattan restaurants.

The burglars were apparently very determined to get into Ho Yip restaurant on the second floor. Police said they made their way through an apartment entrance, went up the stairs and then hammered through the sheet rock to get in.

Fantastico said the burglars hotwired a key operated elevator, and plowed through basement doors to steal from him. Now he’s added extra locks.

“We got this. We got this one. We got that one. We got plenty now,” Fantastico said.

The door at Crepes du Nord still needs to be replaced and Sohlberg said he’ll step up security, too.

“We’re going to increase the lighting out on our store front so at night it’s less inviting,” Sohlberg said.

And Sohlberg said he hopes the cash-craving thieves will soon get a taste of justice.

Some owners suspect the burglars work or live nearby because of their familiarity with each restaurant’s security.

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