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Local restaurateur Israel Guzmán reported that Señor Coco, the snack bar that he owns and operates near the Capri Marina on Orchard Beach Boulevard, was burglarized in the early hours of a recent Monday morning. The perpetrators broke a window and took the cash register. Somehow, they ran with the locked cash register from the end of Orchard Beach Boulevard to Kirkwood Road at Cambridge, a distance of more than half a mile. They dropped the register, unopened, into the backyard of a home at that site. Guzmán was amazed that they could carry the register that distance. "It weighs about 50 to 75 pounds," he said. "It looks as if they were intending to take it into a house. Maybe they fell." He added that there was blood on the register, presumably from someone cutting himself, as well as fingerprints. He said the police are investigating.

Guzmán was grateful that there was no significant loss, but, in addition to replacing the window, he was forced to close the business for two days. "It is scary, though," he said. "It could lead to bigger problems." He added, "There has been a lot of vandalism around here." He did not know if he was specifically targeted.

In a possibly related incident, at around the same time there was a fire in the house next door to the place where the register was dropped. Gregorio and Alex Alvayero, father and son, said that their tool shed was burned down. They said that, from questions they were asked and comments that were made, they believe that the investigators suspect arson. They, too, said that there have been a number of crimes in the area. One neighbor, who did not want her name used, said that her car was recently vandalized and her son's bicycle stolen.

The Nassau County Police Department 6th Precinct confirmed the basic facts about the theft as they were related to the Port News by the persons involved, as outlined above. The NCPD was unable or unwilling to confirm or deny the suspected arson, nor did they provide any information about the perpetrators. The detective with whom the Port News spoke, who preferred to remain nameless, confirmed that there have been many incidents in Manorhaven. When asked about gang activity, he said, "Many gang members live in Manorhaven, but they don't usually commit crime in their own backyard. Their visiting friends commit the crime. For example, their friends from the South Shore might come here, and they might go to the South Shore."

The Port News has received a number of calls about crime in Manorhaven from local residents. Recently, for example, a house on Inwood was broken into and her belongings "trashed." Nothing was taken, which led one of the police officers to comment to her that it looked like a gang initiation rite. Other items from the police reports in June and July of this year included an Orchard Beach home broken into via a smashed door, a Honda stolen from Edgewood Road, the burglary of a local business (liquor was stolen), and an assault and robbery on Fleetwood.

On the bright side, Guzmán, a Port Washington resident and frequent contributor to civic organizations and community events, is grateful that the loss wasn't worse. He wanted Port News readers to know that Señor Coco is open for business, serving the same appetizers as his Mi Ranchito restaurants. He also advised us that soon the snack bar will be serving dinner entrées with full table service.


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