SEAFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a man they say pulled a machete in an attempted robbery at a Dunkin’ Donuts and a robbery at a Carvel on Long Island earlier this week.
Nassau County police say the masked man entered a Dunkin’ Donuts on Merrick Road in Seaford on Wednesday around 9:12 p.m., took out a machete and demanded cash from an employee.
“Just showed a big knife to the employee,” the store’s manager told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs.
Police say the man fled after the cashier told him there was no money in the register.
Police say something on Merrick Road spooked the thug who suddenly fled without any money, jumped in a car, and sped off.
Around a half an hour later, police believe the same man entered a Carvel on Northwest Drive in South Farmingdale, pulled out a machete and demanded money from the cashier. This time, the suspect ran off with $40 from the store’s tip jar.
“His eyes, just, I can see nothing. Then pulls a knife — a big knife — and says ‘I need the money,” Carvel owner Erica Lu told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Lu credited her cashier’s quick thinking.
“So smart. He says ‘look here tip’ I give to you,” she said.
The robberies left residents shaken.
“This is my neighborhood, unbelievable, not right,” Patrick Coffey said.
“It’s scary, I come here twice a day,” Peri Kolakowski added.
Law enforcement officials urged business owners to be careful.
“At this time I would like to urge all of our store owners to use due dilligence at night and to comply with the subject’s demands for cash. Please do not try to fight him off,” Nassau County Police, Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun said.
Police said clerks at stores without silent alarms should have a phone ready to call 911 immediately.
No injuries were reported.
Victims said they hope this is not a copycat of the knife wielding robber that terrorized 25 convenience stores last year on Long Island and Queens before he was caught.
Nassau County police say the suspect was last seen wearing a dark colored jacket, blue jeans, black and white sneakers, a black hat and black gloves.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 244-TIPS. Calls will remain anonymous.