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Armed Robbers Barge Into Lower Manhattan Birthday Party, Ransack The Place – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Police are searching for a group of robbers wanted for stealing thousands of dollars worth of items during a party.

The incident happened inside an apartment being temporarily rented through a private company.

Now other people that live in the building are calling for change, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported Tuesday.

Concerned tenants gathered for an emergency meeting in the lobby of 20 Broad St., a luxury building right next to the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan.

“It scares the hell out of me. I have a young child, 5 years old,” resident Paola Palacios said. “I don’t know how these armed robbers got inside.”

Palacios was referring to a group of men that police said were armed with guns Sunday when they knocked on the door of a unit at around midnight and then hit a 20-year-old man in the head, before ransacking the living room during a birthday party. Roy was told no one was hurt, but the thieves did get away with more than $3,000 worth of clothing and jewelry.

“I don’t feel comfortable living somewhere like that,” one resident said.

While the people who spoke to CBS2 are long-term renters, investigators said the victim hosting the event was renting a short-term unit like a hotel room, through a company called Sonder, a competitor of Airbnb.

People who live here said multiple floors of the 29-story building are operated by the startup.

“There’s been several complaints from a few different residents,” one person said. “You don’t really know who’s coming and going.”

One Sonder renter told Roy she was stopped by workers before checking into her room Monday night.

“When I checked in they needed to verify my identification to let me up,” said Shannon Cobourn, who was visiting from California.

Roy also saw guards on duty Tuesday morning, but tenants said clearly security needs to be even tighter, wondering how those robbers made it inside.

“We are supposed to feel safe here. They’re supposed to have security for people who come into hotel here at Sonder’s and security for us, but I just don’t think anyone is doing their job right,” Palacios said.

“I think something should be done here, where they’re taking some sort of responsibility to make us feel safe,” another person said.

Residents told Roy they have two sets of security and separate elevator banks for the hotel and for tenants, but there’s sometimes a disconnect with enforcement.

CBS2 reached out to Sonder and building management, but didn’t immediately get a response from either.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting 274637.

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