Serial robbers hitting bodegas in Manhattan and the Bronx

Jim Dolan reports from Inwood on the pattern of robberies (WABC)
April 29, 2014 7:31:06 AM PDT
Police are searching for a group of serial burglars who have been busting through walls to gain access to New York City bodegas.

Police say they always look for empty retail space next to stores that might have cash on hand.

It will take a lot of sales for the My Deli in Inwood to make up for what happened last weekend.

Thieves hammered a hole in the wall from the empty space next door, and they stole everything they could get their hands on, including the security system.

('What did you think when you first walked in the door?') "This cannot be happening, this cannot be happening," said store owner Epi Ulerio.

It was. They used a crowbar to break open the cash machine and got thousands from that, and they stole thousands from the cash register as well.

The bodega has a state of the art security system, but the thieves disabled that right away.

"They took the cameras, electricity was shut down, Internet was shut down, they really know what they're doing." said Ulerio.

Ulerio is not alone. Police told him, and confirmed for us that several robberies in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan follow the same pattern.

('Did it ever occur to you that having this empty space next door was a problem?') "No, not at all. They did tell me, that's what they do, an empty space, robbery, so it's something that they know is happening," said Ulerio.