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LI pharmacies feeling anxiety over recent waves of crimes, Fire sets off explosions in shed and other Long Island news for January 9th, 2012

Swastika Graffiti Found on Sea Cliff Home; Fireworks Set Off by Fire in Shed; Long Island Pharmacists Feeling Anxiety; Four Escape Uniondale Fire; Nassau County Jail Inmate Dies After Brawl

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Swastika Graffiti Found on Sea Cliff Home

Police are investigating a scene of vandalism where a swastika was found drawn on a Sea Cliff home.  The vandalism was said to have taken place between 5pm Saturday evening and 10am Sunday when the 63-year-old homeowner discovered the 5-inch by 5-inch symbol drawn a panel of her garage door.  Other reports of graffiti have surfaced in recent weeks including swastikas, the numbers “420” as well as “White Knight” and “WK.” The investigations are ongoing and detectives ask that anyone with information call the Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

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Fireworks Set Off by Fire in Shed

An investigation is underway in Levittown after a suspicious fire set off fireworks inside a shed. Four firefighters were injured while battling the blaze around 4:30pm on Sunday as they were met by a “large column of smoke… followed by multiple explosions,” according to the Levittown police department. Nassau County police explain that fireworks that had been stored in a plumbing pipe exploded. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

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Long Island Pharmacists Feeling Anxiety

“I just want to get out of here alive every day; that’s my new goal,” says Howard Levine, owner of Belmont Drugs and Surgical in West Babylon.  The issue plaguing most pharmacists had for some time now been whether or not they will see insurance reimbursement on prescription drug sales but as of late, the prospect of armed pharmacy looters has been paired with these financials fears, if it hasn’t, in fact, taken the spot in the forefront of pharmacists’ minds. Levine has been witness to two armed robberies in the past 14 months. Gun-wielding criminals have struck pharmacies across the country but a large number of these robberies are concentrated on Long Island, elevating tensions and causing pharmacists to be very suspicious their customers. Some pharmacies are now displaying signs making it clear that they do not carry Oxycodone – a popularly sought after drug – and upgrading their security systems. Some have gone as far as installing bulletproof glass partitions or entry systems where customers must be buzzed in to enter the store. Though injuries are not typical with these sorts of crimes, five deaths have resulted on Long Island alone since the summer. A clerk and two customers were killed by David Laffer at Haven Drugs in Medford mid-June as he stole thousands of pills of hydrocodone which is use in the pain killer Vicodin. Laffer has since been caught and plead guilty to the crimes. More recently, an off-duty federal agent, John Capano, was mistakenly shot and killed by a retired police lieutenant after confronting a man who had just robbed Charlie’s Family Pharmacy in Seaford where Capano has been picking up cancer medication for his father. The robber, James McGoey, was also killed that day. Howard Jacobson, owner of two Long Island pharmacies, has made it clear to his staff that if a robbery attempt is made, “We don’t need heroes.”

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Four Escape Uniondale Fire

Around 8:30am on Sunday, Nassau County police responded Chester Street in Uniondale after a report of a home fire. A man and woman, 23 and 19 years-old, inside the home were woken up by the sounds of a smoke detector and able to escape the blaze though the 19-year-old woman sustained second degree burns to her hands. Another man and woman, 42 and 54 years-old, were also inside the home but made an escape through a bedroom window. All four people and a police officer were rushed to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. All injuries are considered non-life threatening. The cause of the fire is unknown but considered non-suspicious and the investigation is ongoing.

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Nassau County Jail Inmate Dies After Brawl

Police are investigating the death of inmate at Nassau County jail. 26-year-old Antwan Brown, of Long Beach, suffered contusions during a quarrel with a fellow prisoner on Saturday. Brown was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Sheriff Michael Spostato told reporters that the other inmate involved may face charges.

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