Cops: Cinderblock hurled into shop window

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A worker at ‘Variety’ cleaning up shattered glass Wednesday morning.

Someone threw a cinderblock through the front window of a Polish Town variety store early Wednesday, the third time in the last 18 months vandals have targeted the store.

The Hispanic variety store on the corner of Pulaski Street and Hamilton Avenue, simply called “Variety,” was targeted about 4 a.m., with the concrete block damaging the window and a TV that was in the window’s display area, an employee said.

Riverhead Town police said the vandalism caused about $800 worth of damage.

Detectives are investigating the incident, police said.

A worker at the variety store, who gave his name as Vic, was found sweeping up broken glass around the window Wednesday morning.

He said someone had also thrown a brick through the window about six months ago, and that robbers smashed through a window and looted the store in an incident another six months before that.

The man said other stores, like the Spanish and Polish delis on Pulaski Street, have also been victims of vandalism in recent years.

At a nearby clothing store, an employee said she’d seen problems before, with people urinating in the alleys between buildings, but said the store had never been damaged by vandals.

“That’s crazy,” said the employee, who did not give her name. “I’ve seen people on drugs, there’s some homeless people who stay around for a few days, but never anything like that.”

Jim Loo, owner of the Birchwood restaurant across the street, said he’s seen people leave broken or empty liquor bottles against his storefront, but said this was the first time he’s heard of someone throwing a cinderblock through a store.

“Nothing ever happened like that,” he said. “Probably somebody was drunk or something.”

Mr. Loo, who said he’s been in the area for the past 12 years, said Polish Town has changed in that time, and not for the better.

“I’m sure that there are some good people left, it’s just late at night [when there are problems],” he said. “When people get drunk they do stupid things. The landscape of different people has really changed. It’s not really Polish town anymore.”

Mr. Loo said that while he walks his waitstaff to their cars now to make sure they make it home safely, he’s not too concerned.

“I’m just taking precaution steps,” he said.

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