ASTORIA – Using a large stone, an unknown man managed to break into the Greek-owned Gyro World in Astoria, snatching an unknown amount of money and escaping right under the gaze of dozens of passers-by and the crowds in the surrounding street.
Gyro World owner Dimitris Petridis spoke with The National Herald about the incident noting that the recording of the closed circuit surveillance cameras showed that the perpetrator acted shortly after midnight, a time when 30th Avenue, where the store is located, is still relatively busy.
The incident happened seven minutes after midnight on October 19 and Petridis was informed in the morning, not believing – at first- the time that the incident happened.
“When they called me and told me, I expected it to have happened around 5 in the morning. And yet, it was 12:07, just after midnight. For 30th Avenue, it is like saying rush hour,” said Petridis, who noted the movements of the perpetrator.
The security video recorded the unknown man walking on the 36th Street side of the business, in order to avoid being seen by the passers-by on 30th Avenue. He first glances around and then throws a large stone at the glass, failing to break the glass. Then he makes a second attempt, which is successful. After removing some shards of glass, he enters and heads directly for the cash register, opens it, removes the money, and then leaves.
“He made no attempt particularly to cover his tracks. First of all, you can see that he is not wearing gloves, nor does he cover his face. Only a mask, like we all wear, and a hood. Then it impressed me that he knows how to move around in the store. He goes very easily, straight to the checkout counter. At the end, he walks out onto 30th Avenue and goes to Steinway Street. It is unbelievable, there is traffic, at that moment cars seem to be passing by,” Petridis told TNH.
Of course, store burglaries in Astoria, especially on 30th Avenue, have occurred in the past, but it was difficult for anyone to make the attempt when the area was still busy. The owner of Gyro World, although worried, expresses the belief that this is an isolated incident.
“I’m worried, but I want to believe it will not happen again. This branch opened on October 26, 2017 and we never had such problems. I hope it is an isolated event,” concluded Petridis.
Police were investigating at the scene on Tuesday morning.
The Astoria location is the third Gyro World in Queens. The first opened in Flushing and the second in Ridgewood.