NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the vast majority of New Yorkers, it’s no longer crime, but the coronavirus that’s become the biggest threat to safety.
But for the city’s Asian-American population, violent xenophobic attacks are spreading just as fast.
“There have been several incidents in which, just in passing, a lot of people are being called … you know, every name in the book,” one Korean-American man told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
The man says just today, he found a disturbing post on social media of someone threatening to shoot up Chinatown in order to destroy the epidemic.
The NYPD says while overall crime in the city is down 20% for the last two weeks of March, there have been specific crimes committed against Asian-Americans in that time – 11 to be exact.
New York State Senator John Liu is worried for his constituents.
“People are wondering will they be safe in the streets, especially when the streets more isolated,” Liu said.
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The NYPD says some of the other most common crimes they’re seeing right now involve commercial burglaries, many of them at businesses that are shuttered because of the pandemic.
“Restaurants, some retail establishments, some public buildings when it comes to businesses. We have a plan in place, we are focusing on prevention,” said Michael Lipetri, chief of crime control strategies.
In surveillance videos, thieves seem to be after everything — from Popeyes uniforms to money from safes.
“They just arrested three perpetrators in Queens which we’ve tied to many commercial burglaries that went over to the Brooklyn side,” Lipetri said.
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Even with less officers working due to the outbreak, the department says it’s still making arrests.
So far, seven people have been apprehended over coronavirus-related attacks. An eighth is being actively sought.