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Masked man tries to rob Dreams East in Sea Cliff

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A masked man attempted to rob Dreams East in Sea Cliff on Wednesday night, but left the store empty-handed.

Around 6:30 p.m. on April 24, employee Constance Barley, of Huntington, heard someone entering the store from the back room when she found the suspect at the register demanding cash from Neil MacPherson, another employee.

Barley described the suspect as 6 feet tall, with a stocky build. He wore a black ski mask, black gloves, a light-gray, hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Barley noted that the suspect had one hand in his pocket as he demanded the cash, but it turned out that he was unarmed, she said.

Barley refused the suspect’s demands, at which point he became frustrated and left the store and headed west on Sea Cliff Avenue toward Veteran's Memorial Park. Barley said she saw the suspect sitting on a bench in the park, but he was gone when authorities arrived.

Detectives from Nassau County’s 3rd Police Precinct responded 20 minutes later and alerted residents via text message about what had happened.

Barley has worked at Dreams East for almost 20 years. She said the suspect was familiar to her, and may have purchased incense from the store in the past. “I recognized the person that was here,” she said. “He felt like a local or somebody from this area.”

Officials ask anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 244-TIPS. The Herald Gazette will update this story as it develops.