Inside, they found a treasure case filled with gold and silver watches and laptop computers. They swung again, sending glass flying. They grabbed what they could fast, missing a couple of watches in the back. Then they reached above and pulled down displays of diamond necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.
They were long gone by the time the store owner, Francisco Araujo, arrived hours later on Tuesday to find his family business gutted. By his count, he lost $150,000 of merchandise. Only a rack of tacky T-shirts with drinking and sex sayings was left behind.
Mr. Araujo said he was just beginning to get his life back after the coronavirus exploded across New York more than two months ago and businesses like his, which were considered nonessential, were forced to close. He was planning to reopen next week when the state’s stay-at-home order was lifted. Now, he does not know how he can.
“I’m 100 percent with people who are protesting for justice, but is this justice?” Mr. Araujo said. “You’re killing me.”