Holidays 2012: Keeping it Local on the LES

A nice gift idea for rock & roll fans: Sex Pistols – The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle – Double LP, Vintage Vinyl – First Pressing. $30.

We continue our holiday guide today featuring a few of the sweet shops on lower Orchard Street.  We’re taking a look at ways you can help support Lower East Side merchants, restaurants and non-profits this holiday season.  Remember your suggestions are welcome at tips@thelodownny.com.

  • Gargyle clothing store (16A Orchard St.) is offering some great “stocking stuffers” that include cozy wool socks, belts, hand made soaps and key chains, all under $40.
  • The Cast (71 Orchard St.) is known for their custom leather jackets but they also offer fun gift options like original tee shirts (made in-house) for $35, vintage vinyl albums for $25 and studded cuff bracelets, great vintage jewelry,and belts under $40.

Shoplifters Strike Again at Pilgrim Boutique

Can social media catch a shoplifter?  The owners of Pilgrim, the boutique at 70 Orchard Street, posted this photo on twitter and Facebook not long ago.  Here’s the accompanying message on Facebook:

DEAR POS SHOPLIFTER: YES, THESE ARE THE RARE CHANEL EARRINGS YOU STOLE FROM MY SHOP. IF ANYONE SEES A GIRL WEARING THESE OUT, ASK HER HOW SHE MUST FEEL BY STEALING FROM A SMALL STORE. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. PLEASE RE-POST THIS AND THE PICTURE. I JUST WANT TO SEE THE MONSTER WHO DID THIS IN THE FACE AGAIN. THANK YOU.

In June of 2011, Pilgrim owners Richard Ives and Brian Bennett suffered injuries in a dramatic confrontation with shoplifters inside the store. Ives went sailing through the front window during the incident; fellow Orchard Street merchants and restaurant owners chased the suspects down the street and tackled them.

We hope to have more details about the latest incident later today.

 

 

LES Businesses, Police Discuss Orchard Street Crime

A meeting involving the 7th Precinct and Lower East Side business owners to discuss security concerns on Orchard Street just wrapped up at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center.  The event was organized by the LES Business Improvement District in the aftermath of last week’s violent robbery at Pilgrim, the vintage clothing store at 70 Orchard.

After that disturbing incident, a number of other retailers came forward to say robberies and other crimes had become a major problem along the neighborhood’s main commercial corridor in recent months.  Today’s question and answer session in a sweltering second floor theater space was standing room only.

Orchard Street Retailers Face ‘Rampant’ Robberies

An NYPD cruiser was parked along Orchard Street Thursday, a few doors north of Tuesday's robbery.

Thursday afternoon, as Pilgrim boutique co-owner Brian Bennett described his violent encounter with shoplifters 48 hours earlier, two police officers on foot patrol walked slowly up and down his block of Orchard Street. A few doors north, a cruiser was parked in front of An Choi restaurant, with an officer at the wheel.

“This has gotten totally out of hand and we can’t defend ourselves,” said Bennett, who wound up in the hospital Tuesday night after confronting four suspects who were attempting to steal from his store. Bennett suffered a severely bruised back and head from being stomped on. His partner, designer Richard Ives, is still at home recovering from a trip through Pilgrim’s plate glass window, with injuries to his head, neck, shoulders and arms that needed 100 stitches.

Community Meeting on Orchard St. Safety Planned

Tuesday

In the wake of Tuesday’s broad-daylight assault and robbery at Pilgrim vintage clothing store on Orchard Street, community leaders plan to gather next Tuesday afternoon, June 21, to discuss how to improve safety there.

The meeting, which is open to merchants of Orchard Street and the surrounding neighborhood, will take place at Clemente Soto Velez, 107 Suffolk St. at 3 p.m.

The LES Business Improvement District is spearheading the event, with participation from the 7th Precinct Community Council, Community Board 3 and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Cafe Katja Employee Describes Orchard St. Drama

Pilgrim store front after robbery on June 14, 2011 - photo by thelodownny.com

More on the dramatic scene that unfolded on Orchard Street earlier this evening.  A few minutes ago, The Lo-Down’s Jennifer Strom spoke with James Fry, who works at Cafe Katja across the street from Pilgrim, the clothing store that was robbed.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Fry said he heard the sound of shattering glass. He walked outside to investigate and saw Pilgrim co-owner Brian Bennett on the ground, tussling with one of the suspects. They were both covered in blood and glass fragments.

The Scene After Orchard Street Robbery

A look at the aftermath on Orchard Street following tonight’s robbery and foot-chase. (Click through for more photos.)

Breaking: Orchard Street Boutique, Pilgrim, Robbed (Updated)

The scene outside pilgrim on Tuesday evening after a robbery occured - photo by thelodownny.com

A short time ago, Pilgrim, the boutique at 70 Orchard Street was robbed and an employee inside assaulted.  We’re on the scene and will have more details this evening.

UPDATE 7:08: P.M. – from The Lo-Down’s Jennifer Strom on the scene: A little over an hour ago, four suspects (three men and a woman) caused quite a scene on Orchard Street, between Broome and Grand.

According to witnesses at least some of the suspects went inside Pilgrim, a boutique at 70 Orchard, and allegedly stole a piece of jewelry. A scuffle followed between the suspects and the owners, Richard Ives and Brian Bennett. During the scuffle, a plate glass window was shattered and one of the suspects was pretty severely cut.

A chase ensued, with several people, including the chef at Cafe Katja running after the suspects. They tackled some of them in front of Congee Village on Allen Street. Also involved in the chase, the owner of another Orchard Street clothing store, The Cast. He had apparently kicked one or more of the suspects out of his store a short time earlier.

Three suspects are in custody; police are searching for a fourth. Ives and Bennett are hospitalized tonight. A canine unit was brought in to follow a trail of  blood in front on Zarin’s Fabric on Grand Street.

More to come…