New York City police tell businesses they should require customers to remove their face masks as a “condition of entry” amid a spike in thefts in the Big Apple.
NYPD Department Chief Jeffrey Maddrey told a news conference last week that masks allow thieves to evade detection on CCTV, according to the local PIX 11.
“People come into our businesses, sometimes in masks, sometimes in masks and balaclavas and latex gloves, and they’re allowed, they’re buzzed and allowed into the store and we have a robbery,” Maddrey said. .
“We’re asking businesses to make it a condition of entry, that people when they come in, show up, identify themselves,” the department head continued.
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Most businesses in the city wouldn’t allow masked customers before the pandemic, Maddrey noted.
“We need our businesses to be proactive and do their due diligence. We need to make sure people identify themselves,” Maddrey said.
Francisco Marte, a bodega owner in the Bronx who talked to local WABC-TVsaid he was concerned the NYPD’s unmasking guidelines could lead to confrontations with patrons who want to remain masked because of COVID-19.
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“It would be great if everyone came with their face up so the camera could see, we can all see. But we can’t force them to take their masks off,” said Marte, who was reportedly fired three times.
Marte is installing facial recognition in its CCTV system, according to the outlet.
“They have to try to do something to try to reduce crime because it is out of control,” Norma Jean, boss of the grocery store, told WABC. “I don’t remember it being that bold and in your face.”
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Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, recently boasted that shootings were down 17% in 2022 and murders were down 11% from 2021 data. armed robberies and other crimes continued in the city, marking a 22% increase in such crimes from 2021.