Deli Owner, Workers Upset With NYPD Response

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are looking for the men accused of pulling off a daring ATM heist in the East Village early Friday.

Authorities said the criminals pulled the cash machine from a wall, leaving behind thousands of dollars in damage.

Business owner Jose Collado is upset with New York City, the NYPD and the two burglars he said turned his family-owned storefront into a heap of rubble, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Friday.

For years, Collado has put in 16 hour days from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. to keep Yankee Deli afloat.

He was on his way to the store Friday when he got a call that two thieves hooked a cable to the deli’s ATM, ripped it out of the store and hoisted it into a getaway van.

Collado provided CBS2 with surveillance video of the heist.

“I’m very angry because I don’t know why people do that right now,” said Collado.

He said the burglary happened at 4:30 a.m., about 20 minutes before opening. The heist took about five minutes and drew no attention along a heavily traveled Avenue C, Collado said.

He’s not sure how much money was stolen from the ATM, but said the the cost to repair the damage is a hefty sum.

“For fixing this, maybe eight, or ten-thousand dollars… Plus, I don’t make any business right now,” said Collado.

“I’m working hard. I open the store at five in the morning and I’ll be here at nine at nighttime. Do you know how many hours I work a day?” said Collado. “$10,000 to fix that is not easy.”

Store employees said the thousands of dollars in damages is especially hurtful because the business just paid for expensive renovations to provide better service to customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Why would you do that to a small mom and pop operation and somebody in your own community?” said Tom Mazenis, the deli manager.

Mazenis said it’s just as upsetting that the suspects got away with the brazen crime on a street where cars and even an MTA bus drove by.

“This is ostensibly the city that never sleeps. Who didn’t see this happening and call the police?” said Mazenis.

“I need more police, like before,” said Collado.

This is the first time Collado’s been the victim of a crime in 30 years of doing business in the East Village, he said.

Detectives were busy collecting evidence outside Friday, but Collado said there’s been a noticeable absence of officers in the neighborhood since the recent protests.

The NYPD told CBS2 it is addressing surging crime by shifting officers to areas experiencing an uptick in shootings. The department is also calling on officers to engage with residents on a grassroots level.

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