July 11, 2014 By Christian Murray
Brian Porter, the owner of LIC Bar, is very fortunate that his cleaner likes to work the early shift—around the same time that the perpetrator of a number of Vernon Blvd burglaries likes to ply his trade.
The suspect who broke into Porter’s bar on July 4 was inside the premises at about 4:30 am, at the very time his employee arrived at work to clean up the bar from the previous evening.
The suspect, who had smashed through the window on the 46th Avenue side of the bar to gain entry, was rattled when the worker arrived. “The burglar heard someone come in and he went downstairs and hid,” Porter said.
The suspect, Porter added, then tried to look for an exit downstairs but couldn’t find one. At that point, he bolted upstairs and ran out of the pub by going through the window he had smashed. He then fled down toward 5th Street empty handed.
Porter, who has footage of the suspect, said his cleaner did not approach the suspect when he appeared, since he was unsure whether the burglar was acting alone or was part of the group. Nevertheless, the episode could have been a whole lot worse and Porter said he was thankful his worker was there.
The smashed window, however, is currently covered by plywood (see photo) and will be replaced next week.
However, Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, the owner of Manducatis Rustica, was not so lucky when the perpetrator targeted her establishment.
Cerbone-Teoli discovered she had been burgled when she arrived at her restaurant at about 8:00 am on June 22 to find glass all over the sidewalk and her front door open.
The burglar, who smashed his way through the front door window, went through her desk and ripped out her safe, before dumping it across the street in a flower pot in front of Auto Repair & Body Works at 46-17 Vernon Blvd.
Cerbone-Teoli also lost iPads and cash.
But the biggest disappointment for Cerbone-Teoli was the fact that many residents didn’t seemed to care about the incident. She said that several people walked past her battered restaurant well before she got there at 8:00 am and didn’t bother to call the police or try to make contact with her.
She said that one person’s dog peed on some of her items that were scattered all over the sidewalk before she arrived on the scene. She said someone showed her footage of joggers running by.
“I thought this neighborhood stuck together more than this,” Cerbone-Teoli said. “A neighborhood is only a neighborhood when people take care of each other.”
She said that many people used to call her complaining about noise when she used to have seats outside her restaurant but no one called when this incident occurred.
Meanwhile, Pat Burke, the owner of Woodbines, was alerted that he had been burgled shortly after a cleaner/night porter discovered that the front door glass had been smashed in at about 7 am on June 25. The thief took off with a Galaxy 10 tablet and $100 in cash.
Burke said he had footage of the burglar and was in the process of installing an alarm.
These three incidents come on the back of an incident in April, when two men broke into Vernon Wines & Liquors and unsuccessfully tried to take off with the ATM machine. As of last month, there had been no arrests with that case.