The “Eyes” Have It: Philadelphia Police Accused Of Cutting Security Systems Before Looting Stores

20090330_dn_g2drug30cRecently, there have been a spate of charges against officers in New York and other cities captured on video cameras in incriminating acts. Philadelphia police appear to have different approach: they first methodically disable cameras before allegedly committing criminal acts. In one video at the heart of the current scandal, Officers Jeffrey Cujdik and Thomas Tolstoy allegedly enter a bodega with other narcotics members and immediately disable the security cameras by cutting wires before removing cash and pigging out on free food. In the September 2007 video, Tolstoy looks at each of the camera and tells the team: “I got like seven or eight eyes. There’s one outside. There is one, two, three, four in the aisles, and there’s one right here somewhere.”Unfortunately for them, there was a back-up system.

The scene is described in the article below:

Then Sgt. Bologna looks up and waves his finger toward the ceiling: “Whaddya got, cameras over there? . . . Where are they hooked up to?”

In fact, every officer seems fixated on the surveillance system.

“Where’s the video cameras? The cassette for it?” Richard Cujdik asks.

“Does it record?” Jeffrey Cujdik quickly adds.

Officer Kuhn then steps up on a milk crate that he had placed underneath a ceiling camera and struggles to reach it. “I need to be f—ing taller,” Kuhn mumbles as another officer laughs.

“You got a ladder in here, Cuz?” Kuhn asks Duran.

“Yo,” Tolstoy calls out from behind the register. “Does this camera go home? Can you view this on your computer, too?”

“I can see [at], yeah, home, yeah,” Duran replies.

“So your wife knows we’re here, then?” Tolstoy asks.

“My wife? No. She not looking the computer right now,” Duran says.

“Hey, Sarge . . . Come ‘ere,” Tolstoy shouts out.

Bologna ambles over to the front counter.

Jeffrey Cujdik leans in and whispers, “There’s one in the back corner right there.”

“It can be viewed at home,” Tolstoy says.

As the others talk, Officer Parrotti reaches up to another camera in front of the register. He pulls the wire down and slices it with a bread knife taken from the store’s deli.

“OK. We’ll disconnect it,” Bologna assures Tolstoy. “That’s cool.”

Meanwhile, Parrotti’s hand covers the camera lens and he appears to yank the camera from the ceiling.

The screen goes black.

“They could watch what’s happening at the store at your house?” Bologna asks.

The audio cuts out.

After locating Tolstoy’s “eyes,” the Nacotics Field Unit Officers cut every wire. They then arrested the owner for misdemeanors and take nearly $10,000 in cash. Also missing are cartons of Marlboros and Newports. the officers also allegedly drank free sodas and wolfed down fresh turkey hoagies, Little Debbie fudge brownies and Cheez-Its.

What is also equally disturbing is the pretext of the raid. In Philadelphia, police may raid businesses that sell small zip lock bags as drug paraphernalia. Under state law, it’s illegal to sell containers if the store owner “knows or should reasonably know” that the buyer intends to use them to package drugs. It strikes me as a facially absurd law that is ripe for abuse.

The video reinforces the accounts of other businesses complaining about some of the same officers coming in to their businesses and cutting the surveillance systems before looting cash, products and food. At least eight other stores reported the same tactics by Cujdik and others.
All of the raids were made under the pretext of this baggie law and the owners complained that thousands of dollars were taken but that only a fraction was recorded at the station.

Cujdik is already under investigation for allegedly lying on search warrants to gain access to suspected drug homes. His brother — Officer Richard Cujdik — is also involved in some of these allegations.

Notably, in the raid, the Cujdik brothers, Tolstoy, Thomas JKuhn, Anthony Parrotti and squad supervisor Sgt. Joseph Bologna entered despite that fact that no ziplock bags were sold during the period of their surveillance. They also search the owners van despite not having a warrant for the van.

During the raid, Jeffrey Cujdik told Duran that he was seizing the cameras and computer monitor “as evidence because you’re selling drug paraphernalia. So we gotta get rid of it. . . . You got yourself on video selling drug paraphernalia.” A ridiculous and transparent suggestion.

Despite this ridiculous law and these equally ridiculous assertions, Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon in February 2008 sentenced the owner Jose Duran to nine months’ probation after he pleading “no contest” to the charges. He lost his business.

For the full story, click here.

45 thoughts on “The “Eyes” Have It: Philadelphia Police Accused Of Cutting Security Systems Before Looting Stores”

  1. Schilderiana, I have noted some slight improvement in grammar and sentence structure. However, the content of your postings remains puerile. Invective is never a substitute for substance. You need to begin inserting actual ideas into your comments. Let’s work on that, shall we?

  2. Buddha, you look like you need more fiber in your diet. The puffy green face twisted into a grotesque mask of grinning pain makes you look like you are trying to pinch off a turd the size of your ego. You’ll never squeeze it out!
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  3. Buddha, you look like you need more fiber in your diet. The puffy green face twisted into a grotesque mask of grinning pain makes you look like you are trying to pinch off a turd the size of your ego. You’ll never squeeze it out!

  4. Yep. Busted a baggie distribution ring. That’s big time law enforcement there.

  5. So I hear our boys in Philly made some big gains in the War on Drugs recently.

  6. Did anyone ever wonder why the GOP did away with funding for mental institutions and special needs children and adults.

    Oh yeah, they got elected to the bench or hold some public office.

  7. God forbid the ones who are capable of defending themselves and those who cannot tell the difference.

    The question is, Did someone say that attorneys are posting on here? Wow.

    You’d never thunk it.

  8. No, plenty of people more meaningful than you dislike me. I say you’re crazy because that’s how you are acting.

    Keep it up.

  9. I noticed that you are quick to refer to my distaste for you as a sure sign of mental illness. The mental illness that you are in bondage to is a serious personality disorder. The only person that does not recognize this is you! Narcissist’s such as yourself are always right, it’s everyone else who is deluded. I bet you drive everyone in your family bananas at picnics and holiday get togethers. Being a lawyer does not make you immune from a personality disorder or an extreme display of narcissism. In your case it only fuels your ego-driven fire. Sound about right?

  10. Keep it up, genius. You’re not fooling anyone who’s read your writing more than five times, Wayne. Keep on with the invective and no substance. All you do is further prove my identification.

  11. Wayne? Deleted and banned? You must really know how to win friends and influence enemies,as indicated by the amount of bloggers who think you are a pompous dolt. The fact you attempt to practice law does not impress me to greatly. Most lawyers are on par with used car salesman and snake-oil peddlers. The only difference is used car salesman and snake-oil peddlers have a better moral compass.

  12. lol

    The only self-destruction going on here is you, Wayne.

    Keep it up. I love it when you get deleted and banned. Just like the last three times you came in here with your Buddha fixation. I understand that my very existence threatens a weak minded person such as yourself because I am all the things you’ll never be, like intelligent, well-liked, highly educated and successful. But you must realize this fact: I don’t care if your head explodes in anger. I think it’s funny. But these people might care . . .

    Give ’em a call. It’s their job to care about the mentally ill.

    I now return you to your psychosis in progress.

  13. schilderiana:

    Why are you after Buddha? What did he do to you?
    He just calls them as he sees them, like everyone else on this blog. Just write how you see it and let the criticism flow.

    Most of these guys are lawyers and are used to criticism, it just flows off their backs like water on a duck. I see it all the time, they are advacating their positions. the point counter point and references supporting positions. If you believe in your own values and philosophy a little criticism shouldnt bother you. Anyway use it to buttress your own arguments by refinement based on the feedback you receive.

    If your spirit is so fragile that you cannot argue with these guys and take the criticism, I would suggest you find other venues for your musings. No quarter will be given here.

    I doubt if any of it is personal, unless you are a racist or hate babies or cats or dogs.

  14. Keep tooting your horn buddha, it is a pleasure to watch you squirm and self-destruct.

  15. As Mark Twain said, “It is better to have people think you are an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”. It is abundantly clear that you are making a good living by this great author’s axiom.

  16. And I’d never call you a fool, Wayne. That’s an insult to fools, many of whom I hold in high esteem. I’d call you delusional though. Because that’s what you clearly are.


  17. Schilderiana, if your first 4 postings are indicative of the best game you can bring, you’re on the wrong blog. These folks rip each others arguments to pieces for the sheer joy of the debate; you don’t have a chance. 😉

  18. Awww, aren’t you just precious, Wayne. All mentally ill and no place to go? I’d have never guessed by your, what is the word, ranting? No, that’s not quite right. Raving? No, not indicative of your true mental state. Blabbering? Yeah, that’s it. Blabbering incoherently and attacking blindly when you can attack no other way. lol Jealous much?

    Ballpark? You aren’t even in the right county. Nice go at proving every point made about your sub-literate posting skills. Very nice that. And my “crap” must be pretty entertaining to keep you coming back for more, psycho-boy. That or you have dietary requirements that match the structural content of your head. So chow down, sport! I’ll keep on serving it to clowns like you.

    In the mean time . . .

    You keep acting like an amateur and I’ll keep laughing at you, Schill. And please. Seek professional help for that unsightly growth on your neck.

  19. Jealous? Mr. Driveby? I need to listen to more of your inane drivel to determine just how stupid you truly are. In the meantime I will amuse myself by reading the crap you post on this blog. You sound like you just finished a freshman philosophy and logic course at the local community college. Am I in the ball park? Go Royals!

Comments are closed.