Scaffolding Scourge: Thieves Scale Safety Structure to Nab $500K in Jewels
Matt Chaban Dec. 7, 2010, 6:29 p.m.
Ask most New Yorkers how they feel about the acres of construction scaffolding encircling the city’s buildings, and they will respond with contempt. Short of keeping construction debris and rain off our heads, their main job is to annoy. Scaffolding blocks out the sun and the beautiful architecture. It makes jaywalking and tourist-passing all the more difficult. And now, it helps burglars break into buildings.
Two determined thieves mounted some construction scaffolding in Tribeca Saturday night. From their perch, they broke in through window on the third floor. Then they sawed through the second floor to reach a jewelry store on street level, where they put some heavy-duty tools to work on the safe. According to the Daily News, the devious duo made off with half-million dollars in jewels, which the store owners were counting on selling for the holidays in order to keep their business afloat. The store opened on West Broadway in July.
It is a tragic story, but is it also a common one? Sadly, that is unclear. While it would be something to declare this the first-of-its-kind crime (which seems unlikely) or part of a growing burglary wave, neither the NYPD nor the Department of Buildings could say when contacted by The Observer today, as neither keeps statistics on such break-ins. “It’s just not something we see or hear of,” DOB spokeswoman Jen Gilbert said.