Lynbrook Merchants Feel Safe After 'Isolated Incidents'

Joseph Chieffo was arrested Monday after allegedly robbing Picker Pharmacy on both Saturday and Monday; Chieffo will be arraigned Tuesday.

In the 14 years Kanti Vadsola has owned in Lynbrook, he was never robbed -- until this weekend when the same man robbed him twice in two days.

, 27, allegedly entered the pharmacy on Saturday and Monday, jumping over the counter and making verbal demands to the pharmacist for Oxycodon, according to police. 

Despite the burglaries, Vadsola said he feels safe at his business located on Atlantic Avenue.

“What else can you do but keep it in the back of your mind, that it can happen to you,” Vadsola said.

Vadsola said when Chieffo came back Monday, he said he “didn’t get enough” of the drug. Oxycodon is used to treat moderate to severe pain and is highly addictive. If someone discontinues Oxycodone abruptly, there can be serious withdrawal symptoms, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research.

Vadsola declined to comment on the number of pain relievers held in the pharmacy.

Ellen Copeman’s has been the owner of The Runner’s Stop at 20 Atlantic Ave. next door for nearly four years. She said the events of this past weekend are a rare occurance, but not something to take lightly. 

“We’ve never had to hit the panic button here,” Copeman said.

Despite the initial shock, Copeman said she feels safe on Atlantic Avenue --  a block which she said includes a “nice group of merchants in a nice community.”

She credits the for keeping the neighborhood safe. Police arrested Chieffo Monday a short time after the robbery at the A&B Deli, on Merrick Road in Lynbrook, and he was placed under arrest without incident.

“They’ve always come by to check in with us, and when I have called them in for minor incidents, they’ve gotten here almost immediately,” Copeman said.

Despite those feelings of safety, however, Copeman said it’s still scary to think of what could have happened. After all, it was only five months ago when David Laffer open killing four people.

“Do I feel good having a crazy drug addict breaking in next door? No,” Copeman said. “When you’re under the influence of that stuff, you’re probably not thinking clear. It’s scary.”


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