Two men “destroyed” the rear of two Hicksville businesses as they struggled to gain entry to a family-owned jewelry store early Saturday morning, before taking off with baubles and cash, the jewelry store’s owner said.
Amit Verma, 34, said he had just flown in from Atlanta to visit his family here when an alarm went off at the store, East West Jewelers, at 94 Broadway.
“We came to the store and waited until the police came because we didn’t want to go inside by ourselves,” Verma said in a phone interview.
Nassau County police responded to a 911 call for the alarm and met Verma and other family members who help run the business. Verma said the burglars tried to cut through a brick wall at the back of the building and when that maneuver failed, they broke into a steel door at the neighboring business, Wardrobe Fashion. Police said the burglary occurred between 3:47 a.m. and 5 a.m.
“You can see where they came through from the other store,” Verma said. “They came through the dressing room and cut through Sheetrock to get in here.”
Police said that the burglars had accessed the jewelry store through a hole in the interior wall of Wardrobe Fashion.
Verma said the burglars had damaged the security alarm system and video cameras, but there was a backup camera installed that taped some of the heist.
“We saw some footage of them getting in and killing the electricity, then using flashlights,” he said.
A three-foot hole cut out of the wall behind two safes was also found, Verma said. The suspects took an undetermined amount of assorted jewelry and money during the burglary, police said. Inventory was still being taken around 1 p.m. Saturday, Verma said, and it was unclear exactly what, and how much, merchandise had been taken.
Nothing was taken from Wardrobe Fashion.
“We just thank God nobody was here, and nobody got hurt,” Verma said.
The jewelry store has lasted through five generations when it started in New Delhi, India before the family immigrated to Long Island and moved the store to a location in Elmont and then to Hempstead, before its current location, Verma said.
Contractors were at the store Saturday surveying the destruction and coming up with a rebuilding plan, he said.
Despite the damage, the front of the store was open for business as usual on Saturday, Verma said,
“We’re trying to do our best to keep composure for the community,” Verma said. “I don’t want to close down.”
Second Squad detectives ask anyone with information about this crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-8477. All calls will be kept confidential.