A frightened 23-year-old Family Dollar store worker in The Bronx was afraid to return to work after two thieves were caught on video placing her in a chokehold last week before bolting from the shop with an unknown amount of stolen goods.
“I was physically assaulted in front of people, and I had to defend myself in front of kids,” the employee, who, fearing for her safety, wished to remain anonymous, told the New York Post on Sunday.
“I was scared to come back to work because they might know me,” she continued. “They can hurt me — I still work here.”
(Video: New York Post)
The attack occurred near East 168th Street on the afternoon of August 14, and it marks the third violent robbery at the Morrisania store in less than a year.
The worker spotted the unidentified man and woman trying to leave the store with a cart full of items she estimated were valued at over $400 on a security camera and decided she needed to stop them.
“They had cleaning stuff, tissues, everything,” she explained. “They had everything from inside the store.”
When she tried to stop the thugs, they fought back, and the worker was overpowered and choked.
And sadly, disturbing incidents like this are all too familiar at the Bronx dollar store.
Three months ago, a worker was slashed with a box cutter when he tried to prevent another duo from making off with clothing and household goods, according to police. And in January, another employee was pepper-sprayed by a shoplifter.
While shoplifters seem to be swiping things on a daily basis, the most recent victim says the store doesn’t have regular security.
“We need some more security, and we need the strongest ones because this is getting worse,” she said. “The area is not good. We have a lot of [homeless] shelters here, and it’s the shelter people come in here and steal stuff.”
Both suspects in last week’s altercation remain unidentified, and the NYPD is asking for the public’s help in locating them.
The woman seen placing the employee in the chokehold is described as being approximately 5’6″, 220 pounds, with long black hair in braids. She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, black pants and black Adidas sandals.
Her male alleged accomplice is described as being approximately 5’4″ with a slim build, bald head, and gray facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black baseball hat with a blue rim, a black t-shirt with a white Adidas logo on the front, black pants with white stripes on the legs, and white sneakers.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips may also be submitted via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
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