A group of teenagers trashed a kosher grocery store in Crown Heights this weekend, sparking renewed concerns of anti-Semitism in the Brooklyn neighborhood. DNAinfo reports that at around 9 p.m. on Saturday night dozens of teens stormed into Gourmet Butcher and began to ransack the store, pushing boxes onto the ground, overturning shelves, and sweeping snacks off counters. The incident was caught on a surveillance camera, and the NYPD is reviewing the footage.
Customers blocked the teens before they could get past the entrance of the store, and the disturbance caused an estimated $500 to $700 of damage. “It is a miracle that they did not manage to get all the way into the store,” Yanki Klein, the owner of Gourmet Butcher, told the website Crownheights.info. “Otherwise I would have been dealing with much more damage or worse, heaven forbid.”
Klein, who is Orthodox, said it’s possible that his store was targeted because it is Jewish-owned, adding that teenagers have previously come into Gourmet Butchers yelling “Heil Hitler.” The police are reportedly looking for the suspects, and haven’t classified the incident as a hate crime.
The surveillance footage of the incident was published online: