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

Kenneth Giddon has co-owned Rothmans males’s clothes retailer in Manhattan along 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 workers 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 won’t ever 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’m not fairly certain what the time period is when a gang of thieves (5 the primary time, eight the second time) openly tears aside a retailer, assaults an worker, and grabs as a lot merchandise as they will perform. They weren’t notably troubled by their actions, and figured a repeat efficiency, since there have been no repercussions, was a good suggestion.

I’ve a spread of feelings. I’m embarrassed that we let it occur, particularly twice, though I do know that’s considerably irrational. I really feel violated that one thing that we spent a lot time creating, curating and making stunning for our loyal prospects could be torn up in a couple of minutes. I additionally really feel responsible that I used to be not there to guard my group, or change the result in any means.

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 in the end, the town that I like.

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

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 stated it was taking place everywhere in the metropolis, however their message was very clear: Do not have interaction, the perpetrators in all probability have weapons, and even in the event you cease them, or we arrest them, nothing will occur. You will waste your time within the system, and they won’t be penalized. So the place does that go away us?

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

I’m not an skilled on prison justice or reforms. I’m only a man that sells pants.

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

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

However, that message was undercut by the following memo by DA Bragg that he would cut back prices on quite a lot of crimes. I do 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 can probably not obtain jail time attributable to bail reform legal guidelines.
Stephen Yang for NY Post

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

My workers are like household to us. They construct their careers with us. No one ought to should go to work pondering they may be concerned in an assault that day.

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

Not defending companies is basically 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 greatest, many instances 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 reality, 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 instantly this week. We had a constructive dialog and mentioned a formation of a activity power of shops and legislation enforcement consultants to cope with the scenario.

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

We will go to work at present, nonetheless loving, however generally hating, the best metropolis on the planet.


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