The New York Police Department has suspended a veteran detective without pay after he was caught on video allegedly pocketing $2,650 cash from a store during a cigarette raid.
Det. Ian Cyrus, 49, is seen in the video reaching into a cabinet below the cash register during Friday's raid. He then appears to place something into his pocket out of view of the others in the store.
The store's manager, Ali Abdullah, said it's the money he's been saving to pay the rent. Abdullah told local media that he didn't notice the money was missing right away and thought his workers stole it -- until he checked the store's surveillance camera.
“I was shocked it was a cop,” Abdullah told the New York Post. “I [can understand] a thief coming inside the store and stealing, but cops? No.”
Cyrus has declined to comment to local media. However, a woman who identified herself as his wife said he's innocent.
“They could accuse any detectives . . . any 10 detectives . . . he did nothing wrong,” the unnamed woman told the New York Daily News. “Putting things into detectives’ pockets is standard procedure."
The police raided the Yemen Deli & Grocery in Brooklyn after someone at the store allegedly sold untaxed cigarettes to an undercover officer, Newsday reported.
During the raid, police said they collected more cigarettes as evidence and seized $593 in cash from the register, the newspaper said.
The $2,650 is not listed on police documents of items seized in the raid.
Abdullah said he called 911 to report the theft after he checked the video and a supervisor came to review the tape but didn't take any action.
“They said ‘they’re regular cops, doing their jobs,’” Abdullah told the Wall Street Journal.
WABC said Internal Affairs didn't launch an investigation until after the station contacted them. Cyrus was suspended without pay, and two other officers were placed on modified duty: Sgt. Fritz Glemaud, who supervised the raid, and Sgt. Valerie Santos, who allegedly didn’t report the complaint after being told about it, the Daily News reported.
“That video combined with an allegation of theft is enough to warrant an investigation,” NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis told the Journal. “It’s good enough to support taking appropriate action at the time. The video is indicative of activity that requires more investigation.”
Newsday said the store was raided last year and 78 packs of untaxed cigarettes were seized along with $4,000 in cash and marijuana.
Abdullah denied selling untaxed cigarettes.
“When I’m not here, maybe [they are] selling loose cigarettes,” he told the Journal. “I don’t know nothing about this.”