Two men and their getaway driver burglarized a Valley Stream liquor store early Monday but were caught by a patrol officer who happened to see them coming out the store’s smashed front door, Nassau police said.
Robert Rivas, 23, and Omar Shaukat, 19, were carrying a crate of assorted liquor bottles and several tools, including hammers, when they left through the broken, glass door of North Central Liquors about 4:45 a.m., police said.
The officers, who were on routine patrol, saw the two get into a gray Mazda, where driver Kevin Posadas, 22, was waiting, police said.
The officers stopped the vehicle and noticed what they believe to be marijuana in a clear bag in the back seat, police said.
Each of the men, all from Valley Stream, were arraigned Monday on third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools.
Bail was set at $25,000 for Shaukat, of Cornwell Avenue, and $1,500 for Rivas, of Arkansas Drive. Posada was given a conditional release. They were all represented by Legal Aid, which does not comment on cases.
Police said additional charges may be possible against the men but a police spokeswoman declined to say if it was on this incident or if they are suspected of other burglaries.
The liquor store break-in at 399 North Central Ave. burglary does not fit the pattern of commercial robberies that have plagued Valley Stream area for the past year, police said. Investigators believe one man armed with a knife is responsible for stealing money from at least 21 businesses, including 15 in Valley Stream. He often takes the entire cash register and cigarettes, and has targeted gas stations, convenience stores and drug stores, police said.