Shoplifters Attack Yellow Rat Bastard Employees Over $115 in Clothes: NYPD

By Irene Plagianos on January 7, 2014 7:36am 

 Two men were arrested for attacking store workers after attempting to steal clothes from Yellow Rat Bastard in SoHo.
Two men were arrested for attacking store workers after attempting to steal clothes from Yellow Rat Bastard in SoHo.
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SOHO —  Employees at SoHo clothing shop Yellow Rat Bastard were attacked by two shoplifters who were trying to flee, but the workers held their ground and stopped the thieves from escaping, police said.

Store workers spotted two young men swiping three hats and two T-shirts worth a total of $115 from the 483 Broadway shop, known for its quirky apparel, about 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, police said.

When a store manager confronted the accused thieves about the items, they found one of the men, 24-year-old Jermaine Thorpe, was concealing the merchandise — with broken security tags — in his pants, according to police reports.

In a panic, Thorpe ran through the store and headed toward the door, knocking over the clothing racks in his path.

But 25-year-old employee Stephanie Widjojo shut the front door and stood firm, refusing to let Thorpe through, even as he punched her hands, kicked her shin and tried to pull her away from the entrance, police said.

“He was screaming at me to move, and he was kicking me, pulling my hands from the door,” Widjojo, a Queens resident, told DNAinfo New York. “But I was just yelling back, ‘You’re not leaving, suck it up.’”

“I was just so angry that these guys were trying to steal from us, and messing up our store —  a lot of adrenaline kicked in, I guess,” she added.

Other store employees were trying to pry Thorpe off of Widjojo, while Thorpe’s alleged accomplice, 30-year-old Roger Harrison, punched a store manager in the face, leaving him with a cut and swelling, according to a criminal complaint.

Employees managed to grab hold of Harrison and subdue him, while Widjojo latched onto Thorpe’s hoodie and pulled him back into the store as he feverishly tried to inch out the door.

Police arrived at the scene quickly and arrested Thorpe and Harrison. The charges against them include two counts of third-degree assault, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and harassment.

"People get crazy before the holidays," Widjojo said. "I have some bruising, and yeah, I guess he could have had a weapon, but I really did not want them to get away with doing something so wrong."

Thorpe and Harrison are due in court on Jan. 16. Calls to their lawyers were not immediately returned.

Other notable crimes in the 1st Precinct include:

► A 51-year-old man was arrested for attacking a Duane Reade security guard on Dec. 26 after attempting to steal three packages of nasal strips, worth a total of $45, from the 250 Broadway store. Police said Alexander Wood, along with an accomplice who managed to flee the shop, began to tussle with a security guard who tried to stop the men from leaving the store with the stolen goods about 11 p.m. Wood slashed the guard’s face with a jacket zipper as the men fought, police said. The guard was taken to New York Downtown Hospital for a tetanus shot, police said.

► A man had his wallet and iPhone 5 stolen by three teenage thieves who followed him into his apartment building at the corner of William and Liberty streets on Dec. 24, police said. The victim told officers that the three men tracked him into his building about 12:30 a.m., when one took out a knife and grabbed his wallet, which contained $400, along with his smartphone — and then the trio fled.

► A shoplifter stole a $3,000 jacket from upscale SoHo boutique John Varvatos about 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, police said. Store employees told police that a man walked in, tried on the jacket in the dressing room and then dashed out of the 122 Spring St. shop, wearing the pricey overcoat.

► A man shoplifted two pairs of suede pants, worth $695 each, from clothing chain Club Monaco at 121 Spring St. on Dec. 29 at 7:15 p.m., police said. Store employees noticed the items were gone during an inventory check, then reviewed security footage and watched the suspect, on video, grab the pants and rush out of the store, police said.

► A food vendor had his 2006 Ford van, parked outside of 313 Canal St., stolen as he worked in his nearby cart on Dec. 28 at about 10:30 a.m., police said. The victim told police he had left his car running and saw a man jump in the blue van and drive off.

► A woman had her iPhone snatched from her hands as she rode a northbound 2 train at about 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 24, police said. The victim told police that a man grabbed the phone from her hands as she sat on the train, causing her to fall over and scrape her hands and knees. The man fled the train at the Fulton Street stop.

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