CENTRE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Billy Joel came home to Long Island and received quite a shock.
Police said the singer’s estate was not only broken into, but a dozen of his motorcycles were vandalized, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported Wednesday.
It’s a melody most in the Tri-State Area know well, but the popularity of the iconic “Piano Man” singer, who many call a Long Island icon, didn’t stop someone from breaking into his Centre Island estate last weekend and disappointing the community.
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“I feel bad what happened. It’s not right,” said Anne Marie Losquadro of Bayville.
“He’s a doll. He’s wonderful,” another person said.
Police said Joel’s nearly $33 million home was burglarized sometime between 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and 8:15 a.m. on Monday, while he wasn’t home.
“I hope he is all right and his family is all right because he is a beloved person in the community,” neighbor Lucy Stackler said.
Stackler lives only a few houses away.
“I am shocked, because we live in a very private area,” she said.
Centre Island is a village in Oyster Bay, but with its own police force. There is only one way in and out of the village, with a small police precinct next to it, equipped with video cameras.
“With the security and their own police department, I don’t know, I don’t know how this could have happened,” said Rose Marie Brunetti of Bayville.
“I think it’s surprising, because it’s an area that’s so safe,” added Dennis O’Reilly of Bayville.
Security experts told CBS2 a number of scenarios could have happened, like failure to engage a security system or failure of the monitoring system to alert authorities.
“It could also be an inside job, meaning a former employee or staff member that was assigned to the property that knows the ins and outs of the property and schedule of when people are there,” said David Boehm, the COO of Security USA Inc.
Police said the suspect damaged a garage door, home office and 12 of Joel’s motorcycles, which many know, are one of his passions. Some are on display at the motorcycle gallery he opened in town back in 2010, called 20th Century Cycles. Locals said they see him riding around often.
“I used to see him all the time with his dog, on the side with the sidecar,” said Joe Florio, owner of Bayville Deli and Pizzeria.
Police did not immediately release a description of the suspect.
Joel does have a gate in front of his home which was open Wednesday, but it’s still unclear if it was open when the home was burglarized.
Anyone with information about the break-in is ask to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.