Adults are Now Using Children in NYC Thefts

( – Adults are using children as young as 8-years-old to steal from businesses in NYC. The juveniles are snatching money or items from unattended bags and stealing larger amounts from open safes. The kids will sometimes enter a business asking for donations for a basketball team, but never provide details about their fund-raising efforts. In most cases at least one adult is seen waiting for the kids to exit the targeted business. The adults seem to be directing the children’s movements and actions.

These children have been stealing from bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan for several months. What appeared to be the same two children repeatedly entered the Amsterdam Ale House, and snatched as much loot as they could from unattended bags. According to the business manager, Whitney Kaufman, the situation escalated in February when she witnessed one of the children take food from a customer’s plate and eat it. The child cursed at Kaufman and punched her in the stomach when she tried to escort him from the business. He then ran from her, picked up a knife and held it in a threatening manner before exiting the business.

In August, a child stole $600 from an open safe in a bar called Upside on Amsterdam by sneaking down the stairs to the office while the bartender was in the bathroom. A similar theft occurred when a child took $700 from the safe at Lexington Publick. The child pretended to enter the restroom but instead entered the nearby office door. He put the money in his waistband and covered it with his shirt.

Bar owners are considering banning children that are not accompanied by an adult. Business owners are speculating that the adults are possibly coming in to “scope out” the business by sitting and having a drink before later sending the children in to commit the actual crime.

A police spokesperson says she hasn’t seen children used like this “since the 80’s”.

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