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Three masked men burst into Dakota Liquors in Northeast a little before 9 p.m. on Dec. 5. They brandished pistols and ordered everyone on the floor. Then they collected $1,300 in lottery money and another $1,200 in cash from the register. The man guarding the door made a request as his friends cleaned out the till. “Grab some Grey Goose,” he shouted. Instead, one of his accomplices snatched eight bottles of Moet Champagne.
Dakota owner William Pappas says robberies are part of the business. “I’ve been in the whiskey business for 50 years. I’ve been robbed—I can’t count the number of times,” says Pappas, a 79-year-old bachelor. “There’s nothing you can do.”
He could put up Plexiglas, he says. But it’s a line he doesn’t want to cross. “Glass would insult them, wouldn’t it?” he asks. “If I walked into a clothing store and it had glass, I’d turn around and walk out.”