MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The hunt is on in Nassau County for an armed robber targeting gas stations.
Tuesday night was the eighth time in just over a month police believe the same man struck with demands for cash and frightening threats, all during busy evening hours, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
In surveillance video, you can see the robber strolls into the BP gas station in Lakeview around 9:30 p.m. Once inside, he reveals a gun hidden under a T-shirt and orders the clerk to empty the cash register.
“The customer just opened the door for him and he goes out,” said manager Raci Kumbasar.
Kumbasar said his workers are seriously shaken up.
“I tell all my workers money is not important. Any robbery give the money and please calm down,” he said.
“It’s now almost like eight gas stations. We have to stop this,” said gas station attendant Serkan Gonulalan.
Nassau police said they do believe it is the same man in the eight hold-ups dating back to the beginning of August.
In each case, the robber conceals a semi-automatic weapon under a T-shirt and strikes between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m.
The robberies have customers rethinking when to gas up.
“I would either get it in the morning or try to catch it before sundown,” said one driver.
“There’s not an option, so you pay attention, go about your business and do the right thing,” said another motorist.
And if these cases sound familiar, that’s because Nassau police recently cracked another string of gas station robberies.
Joshua Golson-Orelus, 23, of Westbury, was charged with murdering a Jericho gas station attendant in January.
This latest robber has told clerks “Better hurry up or I’ll shoot you,” Gusoff reported.
“It’s just getting to be a terrible trend,” said one gas station customer.
A gas station in Elmont was also among those to be hit.
“Asking for money, he takes everything. (Gusoff: And he pointed a gun?) Yes, toward my head,” said
The Elmont gas station said it will now be using the bullet-proof glass window after sunset.
Police said they hope that between hearing the suspect’s voice and seeing his face in surveillance video, someone will come forward with information that leads to an arrest and an end to this crime spree.