More on New York City Bogeda President Trump Visited Tuesday Evening | Joe Hoft

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More on New York City Bogeda President Trump Visited Tuesday Evening

Here’s more on the New York City bodega where President Trump visited Tuesday night. 

On Tuesday evening President Trump visited the New York City bodega where Jose Alba, a New York bodega clerk, was robbed, attacked, and, ultimately, wrongfully accused of murder after being forced to defend his life. President Trump’s visit to one of New York City’s bodegas comes at a time when retail theft is skyrocketing and the New York City police force is on track to fall to its lowest numbers since the 1990s by 2025. Bodegas are a lifeline to underserved communities, and President Trump believes that only by undoing the Democrat party’s soft-on-crime policies can law and order be fully restored to every borough throughout New York City.

  • In July 2022, Jose Alba, a bodega store clerk, was arrested for fatally stabbing a customer who was attempting to steal from his store.
    • On July 19, 2022, charges against Alba were dropped after he successfully proved to law enforcement that his actions were in self-defense.
      • Alba spent six days in Rikers before he was freed.
    • In 2023, Jose Alba sued New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg for his role in charging him with second-degree murder and setting bail at $500,000, despite lacking enough evidence.

Bodegas Are A Lifeline To Underserved Communities

    • With long business hours, frequently 24 hours, bodegas often serve people working odd hours who may struggle to get to a larger grocery store during business hours.
  • Bodegas have helped hundreds of immigrants and their children become business owners and achieve the American Dream.
  • Bodegas have also been described as “the heart of the community” and serve as places for neighbors to connect daily.
  • Under Democrat policies, operating a bodega is becoming increasingly difficult.

Bodegas Are Being Crushed By Democrat Policies

  • In 2023, New York imposed a $1 tax hike on cigarettes, making New York the most expensive place to buy cigarettes.
    • Bodega owners opposed the ban, arguing that the ban would force them to use costlier bags and hurt their low-income customers.
    • The ban also came amid a nationwide paper bag shortage, creating a major inconvenience to bodega owners and their customers.

Bidenflation Is Hitting Bodegas And Customers Hard

    • Eggs are up 49.3%;
    • Cereal and Bakery products are up 25.4%;
    • Carbonated Drinks, including Diet Cokes, are up 25.1%;
    • Sugars and Sweets are up 23.8%;
    • Tobacco products are up 23.6%;
    • Milk is up 15%.
  • Once a place to purchase inexpensive food, inflation has hit bodegas hard.
    • Numerous bodegas have had to increase the price of the classic egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich known for its affordability amid high food inflation.
    • One bodega owner had an angry customer throw a ham sandwich at him after he was forced to increase the price of his sandwiches.
      • The same store owner reported that since raising prices some customers will simply take sandwiches without paying for them.
    • Another bodega manager had to raise prices on 90 percent of the store’s products to keep up with inflation.

Surging Crime Is Wreaking Havoc On Bodegas

  • New York City, home to at least 13,000 bodegas, has failed to uphold public safety.
      • Last year, the police department failed to recruit enough officers to replace a massive wave of resignations and retirements.
      • Braggs has said he supports community-based interventions for crimes such as petty theft, creating a serious problem for bodegas.
      • In 2022, Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said, “There are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences.”
    • In 2019, New York City ended bail for most crimes, making it easier for criminals to return to the streets.
  • In most cities, homicide rates remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.
    • Murders in New York City are up 23.1 percent from 2019 levels, while felony assault is up 35.4 percent.
  • Nationwide, the U.S. experienced near-record levels of auto theft.
  • Rampant crime is a threat to the life and safety of bodega workers.
    • In March 2023, a bodega store clerk was fatally shot by an armed robber.
    • In February 2024, a bodega store clerk in Brooklyn was killed after he refused to give a customer free cigarillos.
    • In February 2024, a thief stole $100,000 in cash out of a bodega’s private office.
    • In March 2024, a serial robber in the Bronx stole over $1,000 in cash from a bodega he targeted repeatedly, going so far as to stab the store clerk.
    • In March 2024, a bodega worker in Harlem was stabbed after he confronted a group of teenagers stealing snacks.
  • Some owners have stopped even reporting thefts because they lack confidence in the criminal justice system.
  • Many bodegas owners have sought out guns and concealed carry permits to protect themselves and their stores from violent robbers.
    • In 2023, United Bodegas of America and Bodegas and Small Business Group helped over 230 bodega owners in New York City obtain concealed carry permits to protect themselves from violent crime.
      • One owner purchased a gun after thieves broke into the store through the roof and stole $3,000 while also destroying the registers and camera systems.
    • Frank Marte, president of the Bodega and Small Business group, said, “We are losing so much money on shoplifting and we don’t have the support that we need. . We need more support from the NYPD, but since we are not getting that… we’ve been getting armed ourselves.”
    • But as bodega owners take matters into their own hands, some fear retaliation from the legal system that has failed to protect them.
      • In 2022, bodega owner Jose Alba was charged with murder after he stabbed a customer who jumped behind the counter and shoved Alva.
  • Bodega owners know Democrats’ “soft on crime” policies are to blame for the uptick in violent theft.
    • Fernando Mateo, United Bodegas of America President: “NYPD is doing their job, they come when you call them. They will make an arrest, but that person will usually get a desk-appearance ticket, and nothing will happen to him because the district attorneys and the judges are not willing to prosecute these type of crimes. And that is a problem.”
  • Lacking help from the city, the United Bodegas of America has started a $50,000 fund, supported by contributions from bodega owners across New York City, to help store owners hurt by theft.

The United Bodegas of America has also offered cash rewards for information leading to the capture of store thieves in particularly devastating crimes.

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