A Huntington Station deli owner and her husband used a machete to chase off a would-be robber who was later charged with holding up five Suffolk County businesses in October and November.
Ana Guevara, 43, said she was so tired Wednesday after a busy day that at first she tried to ignore the gunman who demanded, "Give me your [expletive] money," when he showed up at her business, Deli and Pupuseria on Jericho Turnpike.
"I was working so hard that day and somebody comes to steal your money? It's not fair," Guevara said.
As the man ran toward the cash register at the other end of the counter, Guevara said she remembered the machete that she had hidden by the register last month for protection. She whipped the large knife from its sheath, she said, and when her husband, Manuel, came out of the kitchen, he noticed the intruder's weapon looked like it was plastic and shouted in Spanish, "It's a fake gun. Give me the machete."
The robber took off in a white car parked nearby, the Guevaras said, but he then struck another Deli and Pupuseria owned by Manuel's sister. A customer there drove after the getaway car and recorded the car plate number, Ana Guevara said.
Police arrested Carlos Garcia, 35, of Huntington Station on Thursday and charged him with five counts of first-degree robbery for allegedly indicating he had a gun and demanding property at the two delis, as well as three other businesses, police said. He was arraigned Friday and held pending payment of a bail of $40,000 bond or $20,000 cash. The name of his attorney was not immediately available.
Police said Garcia robbed a Metro PCS in Huntington Station on Oct. 18 and a second Metro PCS in Deer Park on Sunday. Then on Wednesday, he hit Agua Express, a Huntington Station laundromat owned by another of Manuel Guevara's sisters, and the two delis, both in Huntington Station, police said.
His alleged getaway driver in the three Wednesday robberies, Angela Reilly, 53, of Huntington Station, was also arrested Thursday and charged with three counts of first-degree robbery. Arraignment details were not immediately available.
On Friday, Ana Guevara said it was "weird" that she and her two sisters-in-law were allegedly held up by the same robbers on the same day.
But most of all, she was aghast at how she confronted the robber, saying she and her husband could have been killed, leaving her children in mourning.
"Right now I say that," the mother of four said. "But in that moment, I said, 'God take care of my children and help me.' "
With Stefanie Dazio