Breaking: Mayor Eric Adams Is Advising Shoppers In NYC To Stop Wearing Masks In Stores Following The Murder Of A Bodega Clerk

Credit: The New York Times

Democratic Mayor Eric Adams urged shoppers in New York City to take off their face masks before entering stores to decrease shoplifting.

“Do not allow people to enter the store without taking off their face mask and then once they’re inside they can continue to wear if they so desire to do so,” Adams told 1010-WINS.

“When you see these mask-wearing people, oftentimes it’s not about being fearful of the pandemic. It’s fearful of the police catching [them] for their deeds,” he said.

Adams called for unmasking at store entrances comes after an investigation into a suspect accused of murdering a bodega worker on the Upper East Side on Friday.

The alleged murderer arrived at the bodega on a scooter in a hazmat suit. Authorities said on Monday that they expect the robbery to be in connection with three others in the Bronx.

Fox News reported:

recent report by the New York City Police Department that showed a 10% drop in retail theft reports in February compared to the previous year without a clear explanation, according to the New York Post.

The mayor’s guidance also comes after the New York City Police Department told businesses they should require customers to take off their face masks as a “condition of entry” amid a surge in robberies.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said during a press conference last week that masks are making it possible for thieves to escape detection on video surveillance, according to local PIX 11.

People are coming up to our businesses, sometimes with masks, sometimes masks, hoods, and latex gloves, and they’re being allowed, they’re being buzzed in and allowed to enter the store and we have a robbery,” Maddrey said.

“We are asking the businesses to make this a condition of entry, that people when they come in, they show their face, they should identify themselves,” the police department chief continued.

This measure by the mayor was also endorsed by Fernando Mateo of the United Bodega Workers of America, who said, “I back up teh mayor 100%.”

“COVID is over, let’s take the masks off,” Mateo said. “He’s not referring to grandma and grandpa or regular customers who come in. We are talking about criminals.”

Fransisco Mata of the Bodega and Small Business Group said that Adams “should make it illegal to wear the masks now” and put the NYPD in charge of enforcement.

“We cannot do that because two years ago, we tried to enforce people to wear the mask and people would not listen,” he said. “It’s a good idea but we cannot enforce it.”

Law enforcement sources said that the mayor’s idea could backfire on him.

“If you tell one of these guys in the ‘hood who’s coming out to get a beer to take his mask off, he’s going to tell the bodega worker to shut up and beat the crap out of him,” a veteran Bronx cop said. 

“They should help these bodega owners with better cameras, plexiglass, panic buttons.”

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