What to Know
- Five businesses were targeted by burglars on the main drag of Hastings-on-Hudson, authorities say
- The thieves smashed window and got away with cash and a big-screen TV; but their foray also included munching on English muffins and apples
- A worker at a diner found a big package of uncooked hot dogs and a half-eaten meringue pie outside the eatery
Police are searching for the burglar or burglars who targeted nearly a half-dozen businesses along the main drag of Hastings-on-Hudson in a late-night theft spree that led to the suspects eating fruit salad and uncooked English muffins at a local diner.
They took $1,000 in cash from the diner and stole a flat-screen TV — and the hot dogs — from a firehouse, but they also lifted olive oil, nibbled on apples and grabbed a lemon meringue pie that they ultimately left sitting on a trash can, according to business owners and police.
The bizarre case started Wednesday morning when the owner of the Hastings Center Restaurant called police to report that someone had broken in by shattering the window of a rear door. The register was smashed and the cash was missing, according to police.
"The place was in shambles," waitress Tammy Cicalo said of the restaurant. "I knew as soon as I got through the first door that we were robbed."
Soon police realized that break-ins and attempted break-ins had taken place all up and down Warbuton Avenue early Wednesday morning.
Hastings Station Store, a few doors down from the diner, had one of its rear-windows partially shattered, but it didn’t break, police said. A window pane was smashed at Sterling National Bank as well, but a second window pane didn’t give way. And at Peter Gisolfi Associates, an architecture firm, someone entered through a smashed rear-window and ransacked the place, according to police, who said computer equipment was missing.
The string of burglaries got weirder from there. Cicalo found a large package of Sabrett hot dogs and English muffins sitting on a sidewalk near the restaurant.
The theory going around is that the thieves grabbed the hot dogs when they were lifting the flat-screen TV from the Protection Fire House. They then apparently took those hot dogs to the Hastings Center Restaurant, where they tried to cook them.
"I spoke to the guys at the firehouse and they said they stole hot dogs and a turkey," Frank Campo, from Allstate insurance, said. "And they tried cooking it at the diner... Such strange stuff. I was like, 'Wow.'"
When they were unable to cook the hot dogs, they apparently devoured whatever they could find, including fruit salad and uncooked English muffins, the owner of the restaurant said. They also tossed strawberries around and ate part of a lemon meringue pie, the remains of which were found on the trash can outside.
Authorities believe the spree occurred between midnight and 5 a.m. Wednesday. Locals are looking at surveillance video in the hopes of handing investigators some leads.
"It's insanity," Cicalo said. "This don't happen in Hastings. This doesn't happen in Hastings. Ever."