Exclusive: Son says parents thought they were going to die in violent SoHo robbery

CeFaan Kim Image
Monday, April 24, 2023
Store owners thought they were going to die in violent robbery
The search is on for the thieves who posed as FedEx workers and robbed an electronics store on Canal Street in SoHo at gunpoint.

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- The search is on for the pair of thieves who posed as FedEx workers and robbed an electronics store employee at gunpoint.

Authorities say they pistol-whipped an employee around 7:30 a.m. Friday on Canal Street before robbing him and taking off.

Eyewitness News reporter CeFaan Kim spoke exclusively with the victim's son who said his parents feared for their life.

The suspects posed as FedEx workers, but they were not. Instead, they approached the 74-year-old owner at gunpoint just as he unlocked his door and forced their way into his electronics store.

Surveillance video captured the brazen gunpoint robbery in broad daylight, and the moment one of the robbers took a tumble.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, the owners said they think the thieves had been casing them for some time.

They knew exactly when they showed up for work -- hours before they actually open, and they knew they had a short window of time before their son usually arrived. They knew there was a safe and where it was.

They went straight to the back for the safe and didn't touch anything in the store.

They also knew about a second floor and they knew about their grandkids -- even threatening that their granddaughter could be hurt when she comes home from school if they didn't comply.

The 74-year-old victim has a bruise on the back of his head from being pistol-whipped.

Moments later, his 72-year-old wife came in and was pushed, dragged on the ground as she screamed for help. Her knees were left bruised and sore.

"I was very scared...he pulled me to the ground and I couldn't get up," she said. "And I started screaming and he said, 'Stop, I'm going to kill you'... I'm very concerned walking the streets, I'm going to have to watch my back."

There were two workers sweeping the sidewalk who heard her screams and scared the suspects off.

The suspects did not get into the safe, but they did make off with $1,500 cash.

"It's very scary that they knew that much information about us, about especially about the kids," said the owners' son Jeffrey Kwan.

He said his parents are physically doing OK and are recovering.

"But they, you know, this is like an emotional trauma," he said. "So they're trying to deal with all."

His parents say they've been there for almost half a century and nothing like this has ever happened to them. They thought for certain that day they were going to die.

Kwan says the city feels like a lawless state right now and the family is afraid because of bail reform -- even if they're caught, they'll be out to strike again.

Police have made no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

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