HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a band of thieves targeting oil delivery truck drivers.
There have been at least four incidents in Nassau County since Dec. 16, police said.
The robberies have occurred in Baldwin, Roosevelt and Hempstead, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
In each incident, the victims have been assaulted and robbed of money and personal property while making oil deliveries to homes, police said.
“Men are grabbed by two to three subjects, generally grabbed from behind, one subject will approach them, demand whatever cash they have on them,” Nassau County Police Det. Sgt. John Giambrone said.
The most recent incident happened just before 8 a.m. on Monday in Roosevelt. Police said a 41-year-old driver was held up by a masked gunman while making a delivery on Margaret Drive.
“He watched him and passed him and his delivery truck as he was hooking up his line to make a fuel delivery,” Giambrone told reporters, including CBS 2’s Alice Gainer. “A few seconds later, this suspect appears from behind the house he was making delivery to. He produces a handgun and demands whatever cash he had on him.”
“In the first event there were three subjects, the next two there were two and now this one was a lone subject, but they’re all pretty much in the same area so we’re going to investigate it as that these subjects are all working together,” Giambrone added.
Police said the thieves got only a few hundred dollars but they released a sketch of one of the suspects. The suspects are described as black males in their 20s, wearing dark hooded jackets and masks, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
At the scene of the second robbery on Webster Avenue in Hempstead, a next-door neighbor was so frightened by it she wouldn’t give her name.
“It’s very distressing. This was a nice neighborhood. To think this is going on is very unsettling,” the woman said.
Police urged homeowners to not try to intervene should they see an attempted robbery taking place, but rather call 911 if they see something suspicious, Gainer reported.
Extra patrols have been added and police said they are calling on the oil companies to add an extra driver for greater security.
So far, no injuries have been reported, but police are advising drivers to be cautious.
“They should comply with the subjects’ demand,” Giambrone said. “Keep very minimal cash on them.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
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