Aug 11, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A popular chocolatier was burglarized early Sunday morning as the number of reported burglaries in the precinct rises.
Aigner Chocolates, located at 103-02 Metropolitan Ave., was broken into at around 5:15 a.m. when a suspect smashed through a glass window on the side of the building to gain entry, police said. The thief rummaged through the premises and stole cash from the register, police added.
Rachel Kellner and Mark Libertini, the husband-and-wife duo who own the store, told the Queens Post that the thief took about $650 and that they have video footage of the break-in. However the suspect – who wore a mask, a hood and gloves – was difficult to identify, the pair said.
Less than an hour earlier a suspect broke into Xihua Consultants, a tax consultancy firm located at 96-01 Metropolitan Ave. The assailant broke through the glass front door but a police spokesperson was unsure at press time whether the thief stole anything.
No arrests have been made in either incident and investigations are ongoing, police said.
The number of reported burglaries in the 112 Police Precinct–which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park – has risen sharply this year. There were 52 reported burglaries in the precinct from Jan. 1 through Aug. 2 compared to 27 for the same period last year, according to NYPD data.
Kellner and Libertini said that the burglary of Aigner Chocolates was tough to take following a difficult few months operating under COVID-19 restrictions.
Kellner said that the incident only added insult to injury after the tough period.
“This business is everything to us and it was pretty upsetting and fairly violating,” Kellner said.
Kellner said they were fortunate that the thief didn’t trash the place and do more damage.
She added that they were grateful for the outpouring of support among the community.
The couple posted pictures of the damage to their company’s Facebook page and were inundated with messages and calls of support from well-wishers.