A burglar broke into six businesses in Greenpoint and Williamsburg early Thursday morning, according to the NYPD.
From approximately 1:20 a.m. – 2:10 a.m., one person, police suspect, robbed Upstate Stock (2 Berry St.), Casa Publica (594 Union Ave.), Juicery Kitchen (568 Union Ave.), Aqua De La Vida (579 Lorimer St.), Pomp and Circumstance (577 Lorimer St.) and a medical office at 419 Humboldt St.
“At this point in the investigation, it appears the same individual committed the burglaries last night and is also responsible for many of the other commercial burglaries,” Kathleen Fahey, the 94th Precinct’s Commanding Officer, said in a statement.
The burglar started his rash of break-ins at Upstate Stock, a retail store and cafe near McCarren Park. The suspect used a cinder block from his backpack to smash the door open and then stole a little less than $500 worth of cash from the register and about $500 worth of merchandise, says Bram Robinson, the owner.
“And then, [he] picked out a Saratoga sparkling water, changed his mind and put back it back for a Fiji water,” Robinson said in an interview. “He didn’t want sparkling. He’s more of a flat kind of guy.”
The burglar, wearing gloves, a bandana, hat and backpack, employed the same break-in method as he went farther south into Williamsburg. He uses a brick or cinder block to break businesses’ front doors or windows and then rides a bike to escape, says Fahey.
Thursday morning’s spree of burglaries reflects an increase in break-ins in the 94th Precinct, which covers Greenpoint and North Williamsburg. In 2020, there have been 123 in the precinct so far, compared to 62 during the same time period in 2019, according to the NYPD’s public data.
Businesses wanting to protect themselves from attempted pilfering should install alarm systems and schedule a free security survey with their local police department, suggests Fahey.
For Bram Robinson of Upstate Stock, despite having six security cameras in his shop, it’s too late to install alarms.
“I got a sense of being defeated,” he said, after losing much of his business due to the economic fallout of the pandemic. “When something like this happens, I just feel—apart from being at the end of my rope—a severe case of feeling violated.”