An unidentified individual robbed a string of stores along Middle Neck Road in Great Neck Estates on Saturday, taking an undisclosed amount of cash from some and a sense of security from a few others.
Business owners said someone tried to rob a row of stores that included La Pizzeria, Terracotta and Great Neck Photographers. They described this as very rare, with almost no attempted burglaries taking place in their decades of doing business in the village.
A worker at La Pizzeria said he was not at liberty to disclose how much was taken, but said that this is the first time in 30 years that this happened – and it was bad.
“They took everything,” he said, but added that “everything is fine.”
A video provided to the Great Neck News shows a masked man in a dark hoodie breaking into the eatery around 3:40 a.m.
Shelly Greenberg, the owner of Terracotta, said someone entered the store and broke open an empty cash register. She said the individual left empty-handed.
Greenberg described the incident as “unusual” and said that in her roughly two decades in Great Neck Estates, nobody ever attempted to burglarize the store before. But despite the attempt, Greenberg said she feels safe.
“We’re all fine; that’s all that matters,” Greenberg said.
Dante Maestre, the owner of Great Neck Photographers, said someone broke the back door and tried breaking into his business late in the night. But the alarm went off, he said, and the individual did not enter.
In his 25 years there, he said his store was only burglarized once – and that was in the very beginning when he had left a door open.
“Otherwise, it’s been fairly safe,” Maestre said, but added that he now plans to take extra precautions.
Jennifer Yim, the owner of Red Nail Divas at 126 Middle Neck Road, described the robberies as “shocking” on Facebook. She said her customers theorized that the only reason she wasn’t robbed was because the bright computer screen of a surveillance camera facing out her front glass door.
“If anyone saw anything suspicious around my building, please contact the Great Neck Estates Police Department,” Yim said.
Police said they are investigating the break-ins.