NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The owner of a Manhattan deli is trying to recover financially after thieves busted through a wall and swiped thousands of dollars from his store.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, Epi Ulerio’s My Deli Grocery in Inwood was targeted in the brazen after-hours burglary over the weekend. The thieves broke into the bodega through a 1-foot-thick wall from a vacant store next door.

The bandits made off with $12,000 from the deli’s ATM and cash drawer, as well as baby formula, phone cards, even soap.

“You lose a thousand dollars, that’s huge,” Ulerio’ said. “You lose $12,000, that’s even worse.”

“The way they come in, they shut down the electricity, the Internet,” Ulerio added.

The thieves also pointed all the store’s interior security cameras upward and stole the security system’s hard drive from a back room, Ulerio said.

Other Inwood stores have also been robbed recently in similar ways, including a grocery store on Broadway in January, an electronics store on Dyckman Street in March and a clothing store on Dyckman, also last month. Burglars entered through the roofs of the electronics and clothing stores.

Ulerio said the $12,000 loss leaves him without the means to pay next month’s rent for the store.

Concerned customers and strangers have offered to help him, and a civic group is urging broad local patronage of the store.

“We buy lunch, we buy stuff to bring home,” said Angelo Ortiz of Inwood Community Services. “So it would be a good thing if we just to do our shopping exclusively here for the time being.”

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

Watch & Listen LIVE