I will not surrender: NYC shopkeeper robbed twice by marauding bandits

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Kenneth Giddon has co-owned Rothmans males’s clothes retailer in Manhattan together with his brother Jim Giddon for 36 years. Last month the store in Union Square was robbed twice by marauding smash-and-grab gangs who terrorized staff and made off with 1000’s of {dollars} in merchandise. An undaunted Kenneth Giddon tells The Post’s Dean Balsamini that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and different NYC pols could be giving up on crime, however he will by no means give up to thieves and thugs.

My retailer on 18th Street and Park Avenue South was ransacked/robbed by the identical group of younger males, twice within the final three weeks of December. I am not fairly certain what the time period is when a gang of thieves (5 the primary time, eight the second time) overtly tears aside a retailer, assaults an worker, and grabs as a lot merchandise as they’ll perform. They had been not notably troubled by their actions, and figured a repeat efficiency, since there have been no repercussions, was a good suggestion.

I have a variety of feelings. I am embarrassed that we let it occur, particularly twice, though I know that’s considerably irrational. I really feel violated that one thing that we spent a lot time creating, curating and making lovely for our loyal prospects may be torn up in a couple of minutes. I additionally really feel responsible that I was not there to guard my crew, or change the end result in any method.

For the primary time in over three a long time of proudly owning my retailer, I keep up nights attempting to course of what this implies for my enterprise, and finally, town that I love.

We known as the police each occasions, however the group was lengthy gone earlier than any assist might arrive. We have moved ahead to boost our safety, and the police have been excellent about including patrols and protection in our space.

Giddon's store was robbed twice in December by the same group of thieves.
Giddon’s retailer was robbed twice in December by the identical group of thieves.
Stephen Yang for NY Post

The responding officers had been skilled and sympathetic. They mentioned it was occurring all around the metropolis, however their message was very clear: Do not interact, the perpetrators most likely have weapons, and even for those who cease them, or we arrest them, nothing will occur. You will waste your time within the system, and so they will not be penalized. So the place does that depart us?

The cops mentioned, ‘We are going to catch these guys … but don’t anticipate these guys to do time.” That’s disheartening.

I am not an knowledgeable on felony justice or reforms. I am only a man that sells pants.

NY State bail reform, whereas effectively intentioned, has been very dangerous for New York City. Too many individuals that ought to be incarcerated are not. The potential of perpetrators to rob my retailer, get arrested, and are available again the subsequent day to do it once more, tears on the material of this metropolis.

I just like the message that new mayor Eric Adams delivered.

However, that message was undercut by the next memo by DA Bragg that he would cut back fees on quite a lot of crimes. I know he wasn’t the DA on the time of our incidents. But the memo was a punch within the intestine.

Police told Giddon that the robbery suspects that will likely not receive jail time due to bail reform laws.
Police instructed Giddon that the theft suspects that will possible not obtain jail time resulting from bail reform legal guidelines.
Stephen Yang for NY Post

DA Bragg wants to comprehend that notion is actuality. If New Yorkers really feel unsafe, town will battle to come back again. If criminals really feel that legislation enforcement is lax, they will commit extra crimes.

My staff are like household to us. They construct their careers with us. No one ought to need to go to work considering they could be concerned in an assault that day.

DA Bragg was elected to implement the legal guidelines, not select which of them he needs to implement.

Not defending companies is actually a regressive tax on retailers: financial loss coupled with extra safety prices and better insurance coverage premiums. Shoplifting and gang thefts are rising dramatically in NYC. Bail reform, and lesser prosecution allow criminals to return to what they do finest, many occasions on the identical day, emboldened and with out lacking a beat. 

But we’re not giving up.

Giddon calls Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's crime policies a "punch in the gut" after the robberies.
Giddon calls Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s crime insurance policies a “punch in the gut” after the robberies.
Stephen Yang for NY Post

Rothmans has survived 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, the 2008 monetary disaster, the pandemic and looting in the course of the riots. In truth, we simply opened one other retailer on Ninth Avenue. So we’re in for the long term.

I’m inspired by the truth that the DA heard of our plight and reached out to me immediately this week. We had a constructive dialog and mentioned a formation of a activity drive of shops and legislation enforcement consultants to cope with the state of affairs.

We consider that the Mayor and the DA must, and ultimately will, get on the identical web page about legislation and order. Then we are able to simply get again to what we do finest — promoting garments to New Yorkers.

We will go to work right this moment, nonetheless loving, however typically hating, the best metropolis on the planet.

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