NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a group of robbers wanted for stealing thousands of dollars worth of items during a party.

The incident happened inside an apartment being temporarily rented through a private company. Now, other people that live in the building are calling for change, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported Tuesday.

Concerned tenants gathered for an emergency meeting in the lobby of 20 Broad St., a luxury building right next to the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan.

“It scares the hell out of me. I have a young child. He’s 5 years old,” resident Paola Palacios said. “I don’t know how these armed robbers got inside.”

The search is on for several armed suspects who allegedly held up a birthday party over the weekend in Lower Manhattan. (Credit: NYPD)

Palacios was referring to a group of men that police said were armed with guns Sunday when they knocked on the door of a unit at around midnight and then hit a 20-year-old man in the head, before ransacking the living room during a birthday party. Roy was told no one was hurt, but the thieves did get away with more than $3,000 worth of clothing and jewelry.

“I don’t feel comfortable living somewhere like that,” one resident said.

While the people who spoke to CBS2 are long-term renters, investigators said the victim hosting the event was renting a short-term unit like a hotel room, through a company called Sonder, a competitor of Airbnb.

People who live here said multiple floors of the 29-story building are operated by the startup.

“There’s been several complaints I know from a few different residents,” one person said. “You don’t really know who’s coming and going.”

One Sonder renter told Roy she was stopped by workers before checking into her room Monday night.

“When I checked in they needed to verify my identification to let me up,” said Shannon Cobourn, who was visiting from California.

Roy also saw guards on duty Tuesday morning, but tenants said clearly security needs to be even tighter, wondering how those robbers made it inside.

“I think something should be done here, where they’re taking some sort of responsibility to make us feel safe,” a resident said.

Residents told Roy they have two sets of security and separate elevator banks for the hotel and for tenants, but there’s sometimes a disconnect with enforcement.

CBS2 reached out to Sonder and building management, but didn’t immediately get a response from either.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting 274637.

Comments (2)
  1. Lena says:

    As a friend of mine lives in 20 Broad, I considered renting in the building last year, but decided against it when I learned Sonder would be operating there. What has happened there is terrible, and my thoughts are with those affected. I have grave concerns about this situation and the risk it poses to neighbors and others. The NYSE is next door—quite literally. One must understand that the stock exchange is a soft target. There are vehicle barricades surrounding the entire periphery of the area for precisely this reason. The stations are manned with guards and security dogs carrying out searches for explosives. But what is to prevent someone from booking through Sonder, bringing in suitcases full of explosives, walking out and detonating the bombs remotely to take down the NYSE and surrounding buildings? Sonder carries out no background checks, and pedestrians with luggage—unlike vehicles—are not screened in the area. Homeland Security needs to be alerted to Sonder’s activity at 20 Broad. No one wants to see an incident here.

  2. Terence Millar says:

    I wonder if this was a setup.

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