Exclusive: Heist at high-end sneaker shop in Queens caught on camera

Police are investigating whether this heist is connected to a larger burglary ring that expands beyond New York City

ByEyewitness News, Anthony Carlo WABC logo
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Police investigating possible link between two retail heists
Anthony Carlo is in Queens with the story.

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- Four thieves were caught on camera stealing thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise from a sneaker store in Queens Sunday morning.

The thieves used a car to bash in the store's gate before running inside. Police are now investigating whether this heist is connected to a larger burglary ring that expands beyond New York City after a similar robbery was committed on Long Island.

In video obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News, three people can be seen struggling to lift the metal shutter gate at Sample NewYork on Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill.

This surveillance video was obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News.

The thieves were able to secure entry when a fourth thief exited the car to help.

Sample NewYork had an expensive security system, cameras and a sign telling people to their masks and hoodies off while shopping, none of which stopped the burglars from barging in.

"The guys these days they don't care. Camera and all," said Jay Jav, the storeowner. "Young generation these days - they're doing these crazy acts - and they're getting away with it."

Some of the high-end apparel the thieves failed to steal remains lying amidst the shattered glass, but they crawled out with plenty.

"Total damage with stolen merchandise is nearly 40,000 dollars," said Jav. "You know, 40 grand doesn't come easy."

Business is now on hold at Sample NewYork, limited edition sneakers left sitting on the shelves.

"My son is actually the one who got me into the business. My son is the one who's a sneaker head, he's been doing this since he's 13 years old, my son is 30 years old now," said Jav. "Right now, he didn't even want to be here for this interview only because he is hurt. He's really hurt."

Only 24 hours after Sample NewYork was hit, thieves ransacked Simplex, another sneaker store in Wantagh, Long Island.

The thieves broke into Simplex in Wantagh.

The thieves also used a vehicle to bash in the storefront, although it is unclear whether the two robberies are a part of a pattern.

Police say one of the BMW's used for the Long Island job was stolen, and that the thieves crashed into a police cruiser while fleeing the scene.

Nassau County police arrested a 16-year-old and 19-year-old Christopher Flores.

Police say Flores is also suspected in the Queens heist.

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