Businesses On Edge After NYPD Links Suspects To More Than 2 Dozen Robberies
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some businesses are taking extra precautions after police linked a pair suspects to more than two dozen robberies across New York City.
The suspects are wanted for 28 robberies in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx since February, including seven this month alone, police said.
The suspects have mostly targeted, delis, coffee shops and convenience stores, police said. In all of the incidents, the suspects are armed with a gun and take cash from the register, police said.
The most recent attacks happened Monday and Thursday last week in Manhattan and the Bronx.
“They’re armed with weapons. Most of the 28 robberies occurred in Manhattan,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Shahriar Rahman said he was working the overnight shift at the Spice Corner Deli on Lexington Avenue Monday when the suspects came in and held him at gunpoint before getting away with more than $500.
“We are scared,” he told CBS 2′s Weijia Jiang. “And he take money and run.”
On Thursday, the pair hit the Diamond News store on 2nd Avenue, police said. The store manager said the entire incident was captured on surveillance video.
“It showed on the video as he was taking his final bills out, new customers were coming inside,” the manager told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
As they were leaving, the manager said they threatened to return if the employee called police.
“He walked out very quickly, was extremely confident about the way they did it,” he said. “They turned and actually told the person ‘we are coming back so you should be careful about who you report to.’”
Stores like the Spice Corner Deli are now installing extra security cameras and locking the door when it’s dark outside.
Police said the crimes took place during different times of day. In at least one incident, police said they got away in a dark mini-van with mismatched wheel rims. No one’s been injured in the robberies.
A bodega on the corner of 2nd Ave and 35th Street captured crisp images of the suspects in action. Business owners hope that they will be brought to justice to ease the concerns of nervous customers.
“People are scared. Customers are scared. People don’t come inside,” Atul Kahn said.
Until that happens some customers will be changing their habits.
“I walk here everyday when I get off the bus. To know that, I’m going to take another route now,” Wendy Ruiz said.
Both suspects are described as Hispanic men. One is about 6 feet tall, weighing 180 to 200 pounds. The other is also about 6 feet, weighs 180 to 190 pounds and has a tattoo on his left forearm.
Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS or by submitting a tip online at CrimeStoppers.com.
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