Jackson Heights, Queens boards up in fear of possible looting

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) -- After all the looting, vandalism, and stealing were seen in parts of New York City, now a neighborhood in Queens is getting ready so they are not targeted.

Several businesses along 37th Ave were boarded up on Friday after owners became fearful their shops would become the target of looters.

Natalia Duque, the owner of Barriles Restaurant in Jackson Heights, was gearing up after seeing the images of looting and vandalism to small businesses in the Bronx earlier this week.

"We have boards up because we are afraid of the looters," Duque said.

Duque prepared Friday because there was word of possible trouble coming to the area.

"People got wind of it - it could still happen, that's why we are still here," said James Lopez.

Police are constantly seen patrolling 37th Avenue, a street lined with stores, mostly owned by immigrants.

"The last few days I've seen many people who have come from nothing - immigrants who their own dreams are being shattered, while others are trying to be opportunists," added Duque,

Locals are now coming together for the community. Chris Perez and his friends, all born and bred in Queens are on guard with a message.

"We stand for Black Lives Matter - we support everything that's going on, but not the looting," Perez said.

Some in the area were calling it an empty threat, but despite that, it was cause for many to be concerned, and shop owners already hurting financially because of COVID-19 had to spend more money on the materials needed to board up their shops.
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