Bronx business owners call for changes to bail laws

Bronx business owners are demanding more be done to fight crime in their community and they’re turning up the heat on New York lawmakers over bail reform.  It eliminates case bail for most nonviolent crimes.

The business owners blame the rise in crime on repeat offenders. They claim it’s making it nearly impossible to do business in their neighborhoods.

"We need Albany to stop the nonsense that they’re doing, give Mayor Adams back up get some help out here," said small business owner Mario DeGiorgio.

One example of the problem is seen in a security video released by the NYPD showing robbers targeting Rocco‘s Jewelry Store on Webster Avenue in the Bronx last week.

The first man held the door open as the others ran inside.

New York City Police say it took 30 seconds for the intruders to get away with $2 million worth of merchandise.

This hurts business owner Mario DiGiorgio, who is also a member of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District.
"I’m disgusted with what I’m seeing," said DiGiorgio.

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A group of infuriated, frustrated, angry business owners from across the borough stood outside Mayor Eric Adams' town hall on public safety in the Bronx on Tuesday.  They’re demanding the mayor to lobby Albany to get tougher on bail reform.

"We need to stop the crime we are asking the state, the governor, and our local elected officials to change the bail laws," said Wilma Alonso, Executive Director, Fordham Road Business Improvement District.

"They are all repeaters they are doing the same crime over and over. You take these people out and we will have a better city. But at this rate, there is no hope. No hope at all," said Bronx business owner Frank Bagatta.
Inside the meeting, community members asked the mayor and police commissioner for solutions to violence in the Bronx. Specifically asking the mayor, "What is your plan?"

"Intervention is prevention. Intervention is what we need to do right now. There are too many guns on our streets, too many innocent people are being shot by just walking the street or bystanders. That is why we put in place our neighborhood safety teams, zeroing in on safety and gun violence," said Mayor Eric Adams.

A resident then asked, "What about repeat offenders?"

"We are fighting to un-bottleneck our court system. Those guilty of these violent acts will serve time that is handed down," said Adams.

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, whose district is in the Bronx, is a supporter of bail reform.

He tweeted Tuesday night that it is disingenuous to blame bail reform. Especially because, he says, crime is up across the country.