They’re grabbing headlines.
Brazen bandits are stealing newspapers from stoops and vestibules throughout Manhattan and re-selling them to bodegas or on the streets for a fast buck, in accordance with residents and a long-time distributor.
The rip-off has been occurring for the reason that summer time of 2020 and commenced on the Higher West Aspect earlier than spreading to Chelsea and the Higher East Aspect.
“Individuals are determined. They’ll attempt to resell something that isn’t nailed down,” stated Higher West Aspect resident John Mainieri, who stated his “whole block” on West 76th Road had their weekend newspapers ripped off from their steps and foyers two weeks in the past, in addition to “on and off” over the previous year-and-a-half.
The 67-year-old Mainieri stated he believes the bandits attempt to flip the papers in Central Park, on the road, or to native bodegas.
“There are such a lot of corners on the Higher West Aspect the place these homeless folks sit and promote stuff off their blankets,” he stated.
Denise Madison, 73, just lately posted to the Fb group web page Higher West Siders Collectively, that her husband final summer time “witnessed the thief following the paper supply man down the block [West 79th Street] stealing the papers that had been delivered.” The suspect’s picture was caught on a constructing foyer surveillance digicam, “however with masks and hat couldn’t be ID’d,” she stated.
“The papers was delivered proper to our door, however then for months they have been left within the vestibule as soon as COVID hit they usually began stealing them round 5 a.m.,” Madison advised The Submit.
“I’ve lived on the Higher West Aspect since 1974. It wasn’t as dangerous as this. Issues are dicey … I don’t really feel comfy strolling residence late at night time,” she stated.
Alan Rafal, vp for Mitchell’sNY Newspaper Supply, which has been doing enterprise since 1946, stated the thefts are “a giant drawback” and began within the “West 70s to West 90s” in the course of the summer time of 2020 amid the pandemic.
The thieves “focused brownstones and locked addresses the place we shouldn’t have secured entry to ship the newspapers,” Rafal stated.
“We might have our carriers seeing these homeless guys trailing them. … They might wait and take,” he stated. “They have been stuffing the papers into their luggage and knapsacks.”
“A few of our carriers would attempt to confront them, however we advised them to not as a result of it’s not value it,” Rafal stated.
Rafal stated the thievery unfold to Chelsea in the summertime of 2021. And since Thanksgiving, thieves on bikes have focused Higher East Aspect addresses west of Lexington Avenue.
“Some clients have instructed outsmarting the thieves by hiding the papers in planters and behind rubbish cans,” Rafal stated.
At some massive buildings, if a provider isn’t let inside by a doorman, “newspapers can simply be stolen. … We will have thirty-plus newspapers stolen right away,” Rafal stated.
For now, the corporate has taken to stamping its home-delivery newspapers: “In case you purchased this paper from a retailer, you might have purchased a STOLEN paper, return and get your a reimbursement!” in an effort to thwart the thefts.
The NYPD stated a person caught stealing newspapers can be charged with petit larceny.
Petit larceny has spiked 17% in 2022, with 7,516 in January in comparison with 6,450 the identical time final 12 months.