By Ali Bauman

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a heist that could have been out of a movie. Cameras captured two thieves stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a Bronx discount store.

As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Friday, the suspects are still on the loose.

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Surveillance video shows two men in ski masks climbing down a rope from the ceiling into a discount store on the Grand Concourse. It happened just after midnight on Dec. 23 at 99 Cent Papa.

Police say after burrowing a hole through the roof, the thieves broke into a safe in the store’s back office and swiped $35,000.

“You always see it in movies, but coming through the roof, using the rope, and coming straight down in the store, trust me, I’ve never seen that in real life,” store manager Donzo Swalihoe said.


And it turns out this wasn’t the first time. Back in September, police believe the same two thieves pulled just about the same heist.

That time they cut a hole in a different spot through the roof. Video shows them climbing down a rack of hairspray and pulling what looks like tools and a crowbar down from the ceiling.

They then broke into the back office safe and took $2,800.

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“It’s the same people. You can tell from the video camera. It’s the same person keep coming,” Swalihoe said.

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The manager said employees, himself included, now fear for their own safety.

“It’s terrifying. You don’t know who’s looking at you when you closing your store,” Swalihoe said.

The manager said the business was already struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic, and now that they’re out a total of more than $37,000 he worries the store may have to close for good.

“The boss even saying we gotta close the store down because we got hit really hard,” Swalihoe said. “For this to happen to us, it’s really sad. It’s really, really sad,” Swalihoe said.

Police are asking anyone who may recognize the suspects to call police.

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CBS2’s Ali Bauman contributed to this report

Ali Bauman