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Meeting Set to Address Security After Orchard Street Boutique Attack

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

LOWER EAST SIDE — Merchants and residents will meet with police next week in the wake of a shocking attack at an Orchard Street boutique that left the owner, who was trying to defend his shop, badly injured.

The Lower East Side Business Improvement District organized the meeting following an attempted robbery at the designer clothing store Pilgrim at 70 Orchard Street near Broome Street, where a trio of would-be shoplifters scuffled with the owner Tuesday before tackling him through the shop's front window.

The incident left Pilgrim co-owner Richard Ives requiring more than 70 stitches to his head and arms — and raised concern throughout the community.

"I think that there's a lot of concern in the neighborhood not only about shoplifting, but also public safety and security," said Tim Lemberger, director of marketing for the BID, whose offices are located less than a block from where the incident occurred.

"We want to make sure that people know that the community is safe, and we're going to do whatever we can to make sure that these types of incidents are limited."

Store owners on the block have noted that shoplifting occurs from time to time, with thieves usually targeting smaller items and personal items like employees' phones.

"It does happen, and it's very disturbing every time it does," said James Coviello, whose eponymous clothing store is located next door to Pilgrim.

However, the block has its own "alarm system," in which many of the area's tight-knit merchants share information regarding unseemly characters spotted in the neighborhood, he explained.

The meeting, which is reserved for business owners and residents only, will have representatives from the 7th Precinct, the Manhattan District Attorney's office, Community Board 3 and local elected officials.

Lemberger, whose organization offers partial grants to businesses for the installation of security cameras, noted that the three people arrested for the crime don't even live on the Lower East Side.

"Sometimes we get unfavorably tagged in people's minds as an area that's not safe, when it's an area that's completely changed," he said.

"When it happens down here, when you have the historical reference where people wouldn't even go to the Lower East Side years ago because of the dangers and threats, we're up against that."

The meeting will take place Tues., June 21, at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk St., at 3 p.m.