April 1 in History: Greenwich Village Chase after Bleecker Street Armed Robbery

320 Bleecker as seen today
320 Bleecker as seen today via Google Maps
320 Bleecker as seen today Bleecker Street Robbery Headline
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This story from 1921 shows that no matter what timeframe you spend in the city, there's always a dangerous element lurking around.

Mr. Alex Kipnis was manning his jewelry store at 320 Bleecker Street on April 1, 1921 when a gang of four armed youths stormed in and tried to rob the store. The gang may have seen this as an easy target, but Mr. Kipnis wasn't taking the threat lightly — the 55-year-old picked up an empty display case and hurled it at the robbers! This was successful at making the gang retreat, but not before three of the four young men fired their revolvers at Mr. Kipnis, with one bullet striking him in the arm. The remaining deviant struck Mr. Kipnis on the head with the butt of his pistol.

The gunfire drew the attention of police and neighborhood residents, and thankfully Mr. Hector Undino looked across the street from his own shop and saw the gang flee. He took chase and trailed the group from the opposite side of the street, watching as they tried to hide weapons in a trash barrel and split up into two groups. Mr. Undino was able to find a police officer and point out two of the robbers, but the other two slipped away into the crowds on Grove Street.

After being apprehended, the two robbers were found to not speak English, but gave their names as Camillo Lasalla and Atillo Demarco through an interpreter.

It's unclear how long Mr. Kipnis' store remained at the location, but today 320 Bleecker is home to Andrade Shoe Repair, which hopefully has suffered no similar attack.

Read the full article in The Evening World.


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