Burglars hold LIC building hostage
by Stephanie Baez
Nov 03, 2009 | 775 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A string of burglaries have temporarily halted multiple businesses located inside the renovated historical Silk Factory Building in Long Island City.

As frequently as once to twice per month, burglars have used several methods to gain illegal entry into the building, which has lax security due to an innovative space-sharing arrangement. The thieves have stolen thousands of dollars of equipment and other valuable items.

Valerie Green, a lifelong modern dancer, is co-owner and manager of the Green Space/Dance Entropy Studio in the under-siege building. Green has been robbed of several high-value items.

Her 2,000 square foot studio has spectacular views of Manhattan’s east side skyline and is connected to the main business office for Green Space, where the items were stolen.

The historical Silk Factory Building was opened in the 1800’s and has not been altered much since, with few exceptions.

Today, the four-storey building works as a kind of cooperative; business space is shared, and each company has keys to the building, making it accessible at all hours of the day.

The building lacks a surveillance system, though one business one the third floor has set up a camera outside of the elevator and stairway at their own cost.

Green said the robberies, perhaps due to the lack of security, are hurting her bottom line.

“They took my laptop, 2 video cameras, professional digital recording deck, flat screen monitors, about $10,000 worth of equipment,” Green said, referring to the robbers.

The studio had its locks and door cylinders replaced after the burglary, which took place in late-August of this year.

Green suspects it could have been an inside job, or was done by thieves who knew the building well- enough to continue burglarizing it on a monthly basis. And hers wasn’t the only business affected, she said.

“I’ve heard of at least two more business having been burglarized since my studio was broken into,” Green said. “I still have not been able to recoup our losses.”

Green and Dance Entropy are hosting a “burglary benefit” fundraising event at the legendary Jazz club, Zinc Bar, located on 82 West 3rd Street (between Thompson and Sullivan Streets) in Greenwich Village on Wednesday, November 11 from 6- 9 pm.

The fundraiser will provide drinks, finger foods, DJ, raffles, and short live dance performances. Tickets are $20 online, and $25 at the venue entrance.

“We are hoping to raise at least $5,000 so we can continue our progress and services here in Long Island City,” said Green.
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