NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Relief may be on the way for some Brooklyn shop owners who have been targeted by wild teens.
Young faces have been caught on surveillance video targeting, mostly Asian, shop owners along Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst with shoplifting, vandalism, harassment, and assault.
“When we close the door sometimes they stand outside with a knife, or they throw fruit at the windows. Sometimes they have WD 40 and they spray it trying to get in,” Karen Ye told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Owners said they felt like they were under siege, and locked their doors as the boys approached.
“They need more activity instead of fooling around on the street right?” business owner, Catherine Man said.
A stunning number of complaints, and now action. Police identified five of the male teens allegedly making trouble along the 20 block commercial stretch.
“The NYPD acted very quickly, detaining several of the people responsible making sure it won’t happen again,” Councilman David Greenfield said.
The boys were all between the ages of 13 and 17.
Councilman Greenfield said there will be zero tolerance for this type of behavior.
“Very disturbing, because these are Chinese immigrant businesses and the kids who are doing the harassing are not Chinese,” Greenfield said.
Police said many of the incidents were reported days later. To facilitate better communication between shop owners and police a member of the community has been appointed as a liaison.
“It’s a language barrier. Here’s where I come in,” Nancy Tong said.
District Leader Nancy Tong knows at least three dialects.
“So what we want the merchants to do is give me a call,” she said.
Her role is to ensure an officer who speaks the business owner’s exact dialect will be sent to any scene in the neighborhood.
Police said there will be more patrols in the area to ward off any more incidents.