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Cops: Arrests made in string of Long Island nail salon robberies

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A man and woman from Long Island were arrested Wednesday and charged in connection with five armed robberies at nail salons in Suffolk County and officials said they also may be facing charges soon for similar crimes in Nassau County, according to a Jan. 2 police news release.

Detectives arrested Salvatore Scimeca, 55, and Elise Sandberg, 34, both of Islip Terrace, on four counts of first-degree robbery and one count of first-degree attempted robbery in connection with the string of gunpoint holdups in Suffolk. Scimeca, according to cops, also faces a charge of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

The duo, Suffolk police said, will face additional charges in Nassau County for armed robberies at nail salons in Valley Stream, Franklin Square, Wantagh and New Hyde Park in the past two weeks. A spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department would not comment Thursday on the potential charges.

Scimeca allegedly went to the Nail Tek salon on Islip Avenue at 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 13, pulled out a gun and demanded cash, but left empty-handed when employees didn’t fork any over, cops said. Less than an hour later, he committed a gunpoint robbery at Diamond Star Nail on Main Street in Islip, fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police said he is also charged for armed robberies at Queen Mary Nails on East Main Street in East Islip and the Nail Plaza on Montauk Highway in Copiague, as well as an attempted robbery at the Charming Orchid Nail and Spa on Carleton Avenue in Islip Terrace.

Officials said an investigation by Nassau and Suffolk detectives revealed there were two suspects involved in the holdups. Police did not detail Sandberg’s alleged role in the robberies.

On Tuesday, Nassau County police released a media alert on the robberies, and said the robberies typically occurred on weekday evenings between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., as employees are closing their shops.

With a mask or bandana over his face, the suspect allegedly ordered cash from the employees by shouting “this is a robbery, open the register,” police said.

Scimeca and Sandberg are due to be arraigned Thursday at Suffolk First District Court in Central Islip.

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