Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00
Three Mineola businesses on Jericho Turnpike were hit with graffiti attacks in the wee hours of Wednesday, July 31, sparking outrage from owners and managers. Graffiti was seen sprayed on the rear facades and vehicles of BedQuarters, Auto Barn and Essef Industries, near the corner of Herricks Road and the turnpike.
BedQuarters Owner Jim Canell was off on the day the attacks hit; he received a call from employees around 8 a.m. Wednesday. He and his brother Bill have run the mattress mainstay since 1989.
“[The vandals] are making the Third Precinct look foolish,” Canell said. “It’s an epidemic. I don’t care what anyone says. After 25 years in business, it’s worse than it’s ever been.”
Canell plans to contact the Mineola Auxiliary Police to see if patrols could increase near the area. He’ll also attend the next village board meeting, on Wednesday, Aug. 7, to publicly voice his concerns.
“It frustrates me,” he said. “I had a customer come today to pick up some beds. Who wants to see [graffiti] in the back of the building--or anywhere?” he said. “This has gotten to a point of being real destructive. This is what I got called for at 8 a.m. when my guys were starting their deliveries.”
The outer walls of Auto Barn next door showed tags similar to the designs on BedQuarters. Auto Barn manager Michael Falcone, who has managed the store since 2009, said he didn’t notice graffiti when he left the store on Tuesday, July 29.
“I closed last night and there was no graffiti so it was definitely done over the night,” he stated. “I park in the back every day and it was normal [Tuesday]. They hit the truck, the dumpster and the back wall. It just never stops.”
When Falcone pulled up Wednesday morning he was angry, but not surprised: “Great way start to the day, right?”
Vandals tagged Essef Industries twice over two days, according to the manager, who says the owners are ready to give up repaiting every time the store is tagged. Essef is next to Rani Spa, which was also hit was graffiti.
“It’s at that point where it’s a losing battle,” said Essef’s manager, who declined to give his name. “We clean, then the next day it’s back. It never ends. How have [the cops] not caught these guys yet?”
Police typically canvasses the area, interviewing local businesses for any leads when it comes graffiti incidents, according to Third Precinct Commanding Officer Sean McCarthy.
“They speak to surrounding people who may have been in the line of site of an incident,” he said. “You look for any relevant video surveillance in the area that may either create a solid time of occurance or provide something more of an evidentiary nature whether it’s a vehicle or persons.”
Police have noticed an “uptick” in graffiti in area since summer hit. McCarthy listed Mineola, Alberston, Westbury, New Cassel and Carle Place as areas smacked with paint. The signs slapped on the businessess last week are not gang related, according to authorities.
“The [vandals] are not writing over each other[’s work],” McCarthy said. “They aren’t crossing another guy’s tag out and writing something else along the side of it. I’m fairly confident that we will apprehend them.”
These recent attacks in Mineola are one of few high-profile graffiti incidents in the village over the last 18 months. The Long Island Rail Road train overpass on Roslyn Road near Hinck Way was hit with graffiti in July.
In February 2012, the village was subjected to a large-scale, village-wide attack that stretched from Memorial Park to Roslyn Road. Chaminade High School was attacked with hate symbols including swastikas and the number “666” painted on the buildings. A school bus was also defaced.