Merrick businesses owners: Teens are wreaking havoc despite stepped up patrols

Business owners and residents say the group continues to loiter, litter and destroy property.

News 12 Staff

May 7, 2023, 9:31 PM

Updated 344 days ago

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Merrick strip mall businesses say a large group of teens are wreaking havoc in the area even after police said they stepped up patrols.
Days after News 12 Long Island's exclusive report about the teens' alleged loitering, littering and property damage in and near the strip mall, business owners and residents say the teens are back.
One store owner who did not want to be identified says surveillance video taken Saturday afternoon shows the group of teens loitering outside the stores. He says they were also caught on camera banged on store windows in recent weeks.
The manager of the CVS says the teens were in the store a couple of days ago and punched a big hole in the store ceiling by throwing an object at it.
"That's bad. That's destroying property, private property. Doesn't give you the right just because you're a shopper or anything," said North Bellmore resident Brendan Coyne.
"They've stolen from here a couple of times," says Luke Gallo, of Island Empanada. He says he has had to kick the troublesome teens out of the restaurant several times because they were stealing and scaring away customers.
"There's probably 75 different faces I've seen at least…and some of them are drinking alcohol too. One of them walked in here, had it in their sleeve...you could smell it on their breath. They had alcohol and they're in eighth grade. It's crazy," Gallo added.
Most of the business owners did not want to comment on camera about the problem because they say they are concerned if word gets out about the disturbances, they will lose business. But they are calling on police to ramp of patrols in the area.
Detective Lt. Richard LeBrun told News 12 Long Island, "We continue to intensify our patrols in all areas of concern."


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