One merchant said “the big difference now is they are killing people the rob.”
“This talk about some kind of Mafia is nonsense. What we are worried about is all this publicity. It puts the whole block under a magnifying glass. All this talk about valuable diamonds and how much cash is being carried will just attract criminals.” (Or investigations will uncover illegal activity).
Their current fear has been exacerbated by the presence on the block of television crews. “Every criminal in the world will see your face.”
excerpt from M. Schumach NYT 10/4/77