Suffolk County police Wednesday arrested a man and a woman for nearly a dozen armed nail salon robberies across Long Island, police said.
Authorities charged 55-year-old Salvatore Scimecca and 34-year-old Elise Sandberg, both of Islip Terrace, each with four counts of first-degree robbery and one count of first-degree attempted robbery. Nassau County police is also expected to charge the pair for similar armed robberies in the county, authorities said—though a Nassau police spokesman said he had no information on potential charges.
The pair, according to police, targeted five nail salons in Suffolk and five in Nassau from Dec. 13 to Dec. 30, police said.
The armed robberies apparently started on Dec. 13 in Islip with the pair allegedly hitting two area nail salons—Nail Tek on Islip Avenue and Diamond Star Nail Inc. on Main Street—in less than an hour, police said.
Scimecca is also accused of walking into another Islip Terrace nail salon, Charming Orchid Nail and Spa, with a handgun two days later, but didn’t walk away with any cash, police said. But, 15 minutes later, he allegedly robbed Queen Mary Nails in East Islip, police said.
Nearly two weeks later, on Dec. 31, Nail Plaza in Copiague became the latest victim of the armed robbery spree, police said.
On Tuesday, Nassau County police released a statement saying at least three similar incidents—two in Valley Stream and one in New Hyde Park—were connected. Suffolk police said two other robberies occurred in Franklin Square and Wantagh.
Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer of Suffolk police’s Third Squad said Sandberg told investigators that Scimecca is her “uncle” but they didn’t appear to be related.
As for why nail salons were being targeted, he said: “It’s cash business, they probably felt that there was not as much video surveillance [that] some other type” of business would have.
Beyrer noted that Scimecca also has family in Nassau County and it was likely that he was allegedly targeting areas “he was familiar with.”
Police are not looking into any additional suspects, and the case is now closed, Beyrer said.
The investigation included Suffolk County police Third Squad detectives, the Nassau County Robbery Squad and the Nassau County Police Bureau of Special Operations.
Scimeca was also charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument.
The pair will be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip.