Crime rates in New York City have seen a decrease in some areas, but robberies have increased by 22.1% between December 2022 and December 2023, according to data from the NYPD. Fernando Mateo, founder and spokesperson of Bodegueros Unidos de América, expressed concern over the rise in physical attacks with knives and firearms targeting winemakers. He emphasized the need for winemakers to defend themselves, as armed criminals are being released after committing robberies.
Criminals are entering businesses wearing dark clothing and taking advantage of the normalized habit of wearing masks, making them less intimidated by security cameras. Winemakers have recognized the need to defend their lives, but they also understand the potential consequences of using force. Mateo highlighted the potential loss of freedom for many years if a winemaker uses a firearm without reason and takes the life of a person who stole from them.
Representing over 14 thousand businesses in New York City, Bodegueros Unidos de América is calling on authorities to increase penalties for thieves and is urging prosecutors and state legislators to take action. They believe that stronger penalties for thieves are necessary to deter crime and protect winemakers. Additionally, they are seeking support from prosecutors and state legislators, as they are the ones who seek sentences when crimes are committed.
The rise in crime rates has raised concerns among winemakers, who are facing increased threats to their safety. With at least 39 cars being stolen every day in New York City, the need for increased security measures and stronger penalties for criminals is becoming more urgent. Bodegueros Unidos de América is advocating for changes to protect winemakers and prevent further criminal activity.
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