Restaurant break-ins that were previously contained to downtown are spreading throughout New York City. Monday night around 11, cozy lunch spot Danal was robbed of $2000 in cash and electronics, including a laptop and an iPod. This marks the seventh in a line of restaurant-related crimes that began in early November of last year.
It all began on the 10th of November in Soho when trendy eatery Delicatessen was robbed. Twice. There was no official statement on exactly how much the thieves made off with, but police lifted fingerprints off the safe and a laptop was nowhere to be found. A little over a month later, 10 blocks away at (the now closed) Fiamma, some punks shattered the glass front door of the restaurant. Things spilled over into the West Village a week later when Cabrito was robbed. This year kicked off as computers were stolen from Perilla, a new American cult favorite. Black Iron Burger Shop turned out to be luckiest of the bunch when it was broken into 4 days later, no cash was missing.
The city breathed easy on January 19th, when police caught two men who gained entry into various restaurants by posing as maintenance workers. "They come in dressed in reflective vests and hardhats and tell people they have to get out," said one cop. "They always target the safe." The pair was charged with 10 counts of burglary after Kirk Ruffler, 47, confessed to playing a role in at least six burglaries. His partner, Danny Tarangelo, 49, is a career criminal that has been arrested 17 times since 1991.
This seemed to do the job until the Alligator Lounge offshoot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was hit by thieves who made off with $1,700. The Brooklyn Paper noted many employees have access to the register cash was taken from, so it may have been an inside job. Which brings us all the way back to the Village with Danal. It's true that restaurants have always been risky business ventures, but it's getting harder and harder to turn a profit now that owners have a whole other issue to battle. And I'm pretty sure this means that the discounts that have continued on from Winter Restaurant Week won't be around for much longer.