NEW YORK - Young children are allegedly being used to steal from bars in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
"They come running in and say give money to our basketball team, then they're using crimes of opportunity and grabbing purses or handbags off of chairs and running out," said Steven Wiebe, the owner of the Amsterdam Ale House. "It's a really sad situation where the adults are the ones to blame."
On September 4th on the East Side at Lexington Publick, the manager says a boy snuck downstairs and got away with about $700 in cash. Security video shows the child checking to make sure the coast was clear before making his getaway.
Frustrated management put a photo of the kiddie suspect in the window warning him not to try again.
According to Wiebe, there is no fear of punishment.
"They're basically walking around telling my managers and partners that they can do whatever they want because we're kids," Wiebe said.
In August, another child walked into Upside on Amsterdam Avenue and snuck down to the basement, allegedly taking $600 from an open safe, according to police. The incident was reported to police, but oftentimes incidents are not.
"You report so much crime and after nothing getting done you just stop reporting it," Wiebe said.
Police from the 20th Precinct did stop by the Amsterdam Ale House here to look into the kiddie crime spree, but the owner says more needs to be done to support local businesses just trying to stay afloat in this economy.