Accused Of Pilfering 18K In Groceries, Cops Arrest Park Slope Food Coop Members

Accused Of Pilfering 18K In Groceries, Cops Arrest Park Slope Food Coop Members
Park Slope Food Coop
Photo by BKLYNER

Let’s start out by clarifying that a murder has not taken place at the Park Slope Food Coop (782 Union Street near 7th Avenue).

That said, putting $18,000 worth of delicious groceries on your table without paying for them may seem like getting away with murder.

Two coop members have been arrested after helping themselves to an array of treasured victuals stocked by the Park Slope institution, which opened in 1973.

The Coop’s Linewaiters’ Gazette, their bi-weekly newsletter, announced the news in their December 22 edition, Gothamist reported.

The stealing by the two members took place throughout 2016. In the announcement, the Linewaiters’ Gazette stated “[b]oth members came to our attention through reports by checkout workers who noticed not all goods were offered for scanning at their registers.”

buddha's hand
The “Buddha’s Hand” is one of the many products sold at the Park Slope Food Coop that may have been up for grabs. (Photo via architate / instagram)

Police confirmed that the arrests of the two members took place towards the end of 2016.

On Wednesday, November 30, 79-year-old Norman Sussman of Sunset Park was arrested for petit larceny after stealing $86.53 worth of items, however, he allegedly stole multiple times throughout the year.

On Tuesday, December 6, 42-year-old Ankhkara Smantr of Manhattan was arrested for petit larceny after stealing approximately $132.00 of items. He also allegedly stole multiple times in 2016.

Coop general coordinator Joe Holtz told Gothamist that they deal with some shoplifting instances internally by choosing to ban the member. “If we catch them that day, they’ll get arrested,” he said. He added that the policy of the coop is to avoid confronting the member unless they are “really certain” they are stealing.

Gothamist reported that the coop had $54 million in sales revenue over the past year.

Shoplifting became of particular concern back in 2013.

On a personal note, I have to say that my sadness around arresting someone drowned out my anger for a time,” Holtz wrote back in a 2013 newsletter. “But in the end, the breach of our communal trust and the attack against our cooperative institution that is held so dearly by so many thousands is the greater sadness for me.”


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