ARDSLEY, N.Y. – The home invasion in Ardsley on Monday night and a similar home invasion in Hastings in January, each targeted men who run their own businesses, but small business owners in the villages say it’s too soon to call it a trend.
“It’s not a reflection on Ardsley,” said Zeolla, who has owned Ardsley Hardware for the past 32 years. “I don’t fear for my existence here at all. I think the police presence in Ardsley is good. I think this is an incident of an individual as opposed to community.”
Zeolla said he doesn’t want to let Monday's incident, in which a group of gun wielding men bound and pistol whipped the homeowner and his son and stole at least $10,000 from the family safe, affect the way he feels about his neighborhood.
“Before I say anything about ‘Oh it’s doom and gloom’ I need more information,” Zeolla said. “I’m not overreacting to this. I didn’t walk here looking over my shoulder.”
Isaac Garson, owner of Slices in Hastings, said he won’t necessarily change any precautions he takes, but said he is always careful regardless.
“You just have to be on your guard,” Garson said. “With the economy the way it is people can’t get jobs and some are looking for alternative ways to come up with money and unfortunately a lot of it is like this. You just need to have eyes behind your head.”
Garson said he is extremely cautious, especially after other local business owners have been targeted, including a Hastings family who were terrorized when a group of fake cops burst into their home and robbed them in January.
“Change your habits, change patterns going home and just be more careful,” Garson said. “I make sure the doors are closed, I have cameras all around now. I have taken precautions.”
Back in January the family that runs the New China restaurant in Hastings was the victim of a home invasion robbery.
While incidents of robberies have been in the news recently, Garson said it doesn’t feel like a trend to him.
“I don’t think it’s a pattern,” Garson said. “Anything can happen at any time so you always have to be on your guard.”