The crooks are not self-isolating.
Cops are probing break-ins at food stores in the Bronx and Queens and a Bronx liquor store, police sources said.
Two men cut a hole in the roof of Vitelio’s Marketplace in Forest Hills at 2 a.m. Monday and made off with $10,000 from cash registers and employee pay, police sources said.
“Yeah, people are getting crazy these days. Not many people in the neighborhood are working,” said store manager Andi Duran. “I think these people were getting desperate. I mean, they cut a hole in the roof! It’s just unbelievable.”
Food Town Supermarket in The Bronx was hit in a similar way, with the crook slipping through a hatch in the roof sometime after 11 p.m. Sunday once the store was closed, cops said, noting that it’s not likely the two cases were related.
The cat burglar then broke into the office safe and managed to swipe $17,000 in payroll checks, $5,000 in cash and a Glock 26, cops said.
It’s unclear whether the pistol was loaded when it was stolen, according to police.
The Food Town wasn’t the only business in the Bronx that was burgled over the weekend. Pay-Less Wine and Liquor on White Plains Road in Wakefield was pillaged sometime between when it closed Saturday night and reopened Monday, cops said.
The prowlers were able to get away with over $2,000 in cash, $2,000 in scratch cards, and 28 bottles of booze worth almost $4,000, police and sources said.
“The heavy-duty padlock was cut and the door was pried open. The inside of the store was a mess. They took anything worth money. The people living upstairs didn’t hear a thing,” said 42-year-old store manager Roy Nie.
“We closed on Saturday night, didn’t open on Sunday because we needed a break. People aren’t taking the virus seriously in this neighborhood. They’re buying liquor left and right. We’ve been so busy,” Nie said.
“There are so many places closed, and no one on the street. That’s exactly when people steal,” he added.
Some members of law enforcement were not surprised.
“There are going to be a lot of these burglaries, with so many people having to stay home from work,” a police source said of the late-night heists.
The string of robberies came just days after President Trump extended federal social-distancing guidelines, which will keep people homebound until at least April 30.
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