BROOKLYN, NY – On September 26, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) joined a group of Brooklyn small business owners, law enforcement, and concerned members of the community in calling on New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature to reverse the state’s bail reform law which, according to a press release from Malliotakis’ office, releases dangerous career criminals back onto New York City streets. Malliotakis’ press conference comes during a recent uptick in burglaries across the city, including six in Bay Ridge where burglars ran off with $28,000 in stolen cash.
“We want our city, state, and federal leaders to take action to address public safety that is crippling our community, reducing the quality of life and causing small businesses to close and New Yorkers to flee for safer places,” Malliotakis said. “Enough is enough. How many times do we have to read in the newspaper about crime occurring in our community? There have been six Bay Ridge businesses burglarized in the last two weeks; I can almost guarantee by repeat offenders thanks to the disastrous bail law Albany refuses to fix. We’re seeing hardworking, taxpaying citizens taken advantage of and their businesses are under attack. It’s well past time for our state leadership to take the issue of public safety and rising crime seriously.”
“As I have said many times both on and off the Assembly floor, our communities are being held hostage by criminals who continue to roam our streets and take advantage of our lax bail laws,” said Assemblyman Michael Tannousis. “Victims continue to grow on a daily basis. The only way to end this continuously growing crime wave in our community is to change the bail reform laws once and for all.”
Under New York’s bail law, only armed burglars or those who injure a victim are eligible for bail while most larceny suspects are released without bail. This year, Bay Ridge’s 68th Precinct has seen a 26% spike in major crimes, including sex crimes and rape, murder, grand larceny, auto theft, felony assault, and robbery. Citywide, roughly every one in five perps arrested last year for burglary or theft was re-arrested on a felony charge within 60 days of their release.
“Being a new business in the area, it concerns me a lot with what’s going on with the robberies and break-ins,” said Louie Lykourezos, owner of Louie’s Gyros. “It costs a lot of money, for damages, for the places that are going through it, and nothing is happening to the criminals. They’re out before the officers finish the paperwork.”
“It’s not just about Bay Ridge, it’s about all of New York City,” said Joe Mancino, from Peppino’s on 3rd Avenue. “I have two kids – I want to be able to walk them down the street. It’s not just about the businesses, it’s about New Yorkers. We need Albany to wake up – laws have to be changed.”
“It’s not only the businesses that are in danger, our lives are on the line,” said Dr. Habib Joudeh from 5th Avenue Pharmacy. “They walk in with guns or with knives, we have to stand up for our businesses. Our government and representatives should make reforms so we can walk the streets with no fear. New Yorkers should come first.”