NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) -- The NYPD is asking business owners to not admit customers wearing masks unless they first pull down the face coverings and identify themselves.
NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said Tuesday that too many criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic by using face masks to hide their identities.
While masks have become a way of life for many people, Maddrey said they’re “being used too much as a ruse to enter into businesses and to victimize our businesses.”
“They’re being allowed to enter into the store, and then we have a robbery or some kind of property being stolen,” the chief said.
Maddrey made the comments during a news conference about a Feb. 22 jewelry store robbery in Flushing in which a 79-year-old worker was beaten and robbed of an estimated $1.1 million in jewelry.
Maddrey said the TSA requires people to temporarily remove their masks at airport security checkpoints, and that businesses in the city should do the same to crack down on crime.
“It can be a condition of entry that a mask is removed,” Maddrey said. “And once the person is identified, they can put their mask back on.”
“We need our businesses to be proactive and do their due diligence,” the chief added.