Smash & Grab, Early Wednesday, in Riverwalk Commons

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A smash & grab in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday cost three Riverwalk Commons businesses the expense of repairs and, for one, thousands in cash.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Jupioca, the hardest hit of the businesses, told NYPD that the smash & grab artists got $5,000 cash out of their store.

Smash & Grab Cruise Across Riverwalk Commons

We will never know how criminals smashed out three sets of windows across three well-lit locations near Main Street without getting a swift enough response from RIOC’s much-criticized Public Safety Department. In typical fashion RIOC’s media contacts as well as PSD Chief Kevin Brown and Assistant Chief Anthony Amaroso failed to answer emailed requests for comment.

In other words, RIOC compels Roosevelt Islanders to pay roughly $4 million a year for public safety without giving them the right to know how it’s being used. Therefore, only NYPD logs are available for reference.

Starbucks and Granny Annie’s

Along with Jupioca, reportedly the only business losing cash, Starbucks and Granny Annie’s were hit too.

At Starbucks, just a few yards from Main Street, the crooks had time to smash out the window, stroll in and rifle the cash register without being caught.
Undeterred, Granny Annie’s quickly cleaned up the broken glass and went on with their business.

Smash & Grab in Perspective

While alarming, this event is neither unique nor confined to Roosevelt Island. What was alarming, in the aftermath, was one irresponsible local blogger allowing comments linking new affordable housing with these crimes. There is no such link.

Three years ago, a young man walking the West Promenade, late at night, impressed his girlfriend, firing a gun across the East River. It shattered windows in a luxury high rise, which got the New York Post salivating. They blamed Manhattan Park because it was in the vicinity of the shooter. But when an investigation showed that Manhattan Park had no connection at all, they did not correct their report.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of thefts from a wheelchair bound resident were blamed, in 2017, on a local business owner by the New York Daily News. Even the victim said he had nothing to do with it, but they never retracted.

Felony thefts by RIOC execs far exceeded the $5k Jupioca lost.

Our point is that crime happens all the time on Roosevelt Island and everywhere else. Back in the 90s, a woman was murdered here. Perspective matters, and while instant reactions of alarm are normal, pointing fingers at innocent residents who are “guilty” of nothing worse than living in affordable housing is ugly and inexcusable.

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