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Hartsdale florist pushes forward after pre-Valentine's Day theft

The manager of Millennial Florist on Hartsdale Avenue says they were robbed by three people on Tuesday.

Jonathan Gordon

Feb 14, 2024, 10:12 PM

Updated 97 days ago


A small business in Hartsdale would not let a theft earlier this week derail one of its biggest selling days of the year.
On Monday, Feb. 12, surveillance footage given to News 12 shows three teenagers grabbing three large stuffed teddy bears from the display outside of Millennial Florist on Central Avenue.
Store manager Maria Vazquez believes the trio made off with about $300 in merchandise but the psychological impact was worse.
"We are afraid a little bit after that," she said.
Vazquez said the store routinely puts some of its displays on the sidewalk to attract more business and had not had any issues with people stealing from them before.
She said Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are the two busiest days of the year for the store and they're so crucial they can make or break the entire year.
"It is very sad because we are a family business and we try hard. We try hard," Vazquez said.
She shared the surveillance video to identify those responsible for stealing the bears and to warn other businesses and homes nearby.
Customers, neighbors and residents all took notice.
"I don't like it. I don't like the sound of it. We want safe communities," Hartsdale resident Roman Gekhman said while shopping for flowers on Wednesday evening.
Other local business owners rallied their support.
"We're local business owners and we felt like the best place to go is always to go local, so we always want to support our neighbors," local business owner Luis Payano said as he bought flowers on Tuesday.
Vazquez said the store hasn't filed a police report because it was in the middle of the Valentine's Day rush but said the owners said they might later this week.
The suspects in the surveillance video have not yet been identified, according to officials.
Vazquez said the store will take additional safety precautions in the future including having staff stand outside or bringing all the merchandise back inside.
For now, she had the rest of the family-owned business plans to embrace the community and the spirit of love this Valentine's Day.
"We have beautiful customers here and we want to keep growing," she said.

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