A brick was thrown through the store’s front window on Monday, Oct. 26, police said. (Google Maps photo) STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Ralph Cuomo was reeling from the death of his father last week when he learned a brick was thrown through the window of his Grasmere floral shop — making him the latest victim of a spree of burglaries across Staten Island.
After locking up the store on Monday, Oct. 26, only hours after his father died earlier that morning, Cuomo, 47, owner of A Bouquet of Love floral shop, said he was grabbing a bite to eat after a long day with friends and family when he was alerted of the damage.
“One of my friends left — he was driving and going home that way,” Cuomo told the Advance/SILive.com. “He was pulling to the light in front of the store at the intersection. He looked at the store and noticed all the glass and debris in front of the store.”
Cuomo’s friend called him, and police arrived to the scene later that night.
When he made it to the shop, he said he saw the brick used to smash into the business and discovered money was taken from the store’s register. The burglars, according to Cuomo, were savvy enough to know how to open the register without it being plugged in, and were able to get away with several hundred dollars.
Between the stolen cash and the damage, Cuomo said the burglary cost him between $600 and $700.
While he said the loss was not severe, “the aggravation” of having to board up the store and hire someone to fix the glass was compounded by the difficulties he was already facing.
“It’s bad enough with business and everything and my father passing that morning, and having to deal with getting ready for the wake," said Cuomo. “I just had extra to deal with.”
Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, at least nine Staten Island businesses were burglarized. Five of those burglaries are believed to be part of a pattern, and the NYPD released a photo of a masked man wanted for questioning in connection to those incidents.
However, the Bouquet of Love burglary is not yet considered to be a part of an ongoing pattern, an official from the NYPD’s press office said. No arrests have been made in the incident, according to police.
Cuomo said he hopes the perpetrator of the burglary is found by police, but despite suffering loss and being left to repair his shop, he said he knew things could have been worse.
“At the end of the day, there’s much worse things in life that can happen other than your window being broken,” Cuomo said. “Just thank god nobody was hurt.”
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