3 burglaries, promised security cameras not installed

April 24, 2013 8:27:03 PM PDT
A Bronx neighborhood was promised security cameras would be installed as a crime fighting tool, but a year later, it still hasn't happened.

Just this week, three businesses were burglarized on City Island.

"He turned on camera and crawled to hide from the other cameras, but I had more set up," said Nick Vrettos, a deli owner.

Nick Vrettos believes the thief knew his store well, shifting cameras to avoid detection and quickly grabbing what would make him fast money on the street.

"Stole my register, two safes and 10 cartons of cigarettes and change money, 2,000 MetroCards, $2,000 in lottery tickets, $ 1,000 in cigarettes, and $1,000 in sales," Vrettos said.

In all, it was a $7,000 loss for Firehouse Deli on City Island.

Surveillance video never caught the robber's face.

He wore gloves and hid his face under a white hooded sweatshirt.

But, the crook made a mistake.

The camera got a glimpse of a tattoo on his wrist.

Store owners believe the same man committed two more burglaries in the same week, one at City Island Pharmacy, the other at Filomena's Pizzeria.

"We have a lot of great people on City Island, it's a shame a few are messing it up," said Jesse Cintron, a resident.

Police precinct crime statistics show robberies are down, but late Wednesday afternoon residents and store owners told Eyewitness News they were promised 15 city-run surveillance cameras.

In fact, Eyewitness News found on State Senator Jeffrey Klein's website that $100,000 in grant money was put aside to fund it, and that the project was supposed to be done last summer.

"A mile and a half long, where are the cameras, where is the money?" Vrettos said, "Those cameras would have prevented my store from being robbed."

Sen. Klein told residents last year they would get cameras.

Eyewitness News reached out to his office for comment late Wednesday afternoon but have not heard back just yet.