NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman handed over stacks of cash, and didn’t realize she was being robbed in the process.
There has been a string of similar robberies in Brooklyn.
Lita Khan was working alone around noon when she was robbed, except she didn’t know it was happening.
“He was very nice to me. He was very nice to me,” she said speaking exclusively with CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
The only metal thing the suspect brandished, was a badge. He told her he was a police officer.
“He said, ‘I came to check your cigarette stamps,’ I said, ‘okay, no problem, okay go ahead,’ because we have to let him in, because he showed me ID,” she said.
He then made her count the money in two registers and hand it over. She said, he told her he was going to the precinct and would be back in 10 minutes.
“So I was watching, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and then 20 minutes, then I realize there’s something wrong,” she said.
That’s when she called the real police, and her husband at home.
“She’s shaking,” her husband Wazed recalled.
The Khans have owned Paksey Associate Grocery on 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn for 19 years, and said they’ve never been robbed before.
There’s been a pattern of similar robberies in recent days. Police are now trying to determine if they’re linked.
On Thursday, a Brooklyn laundromat was robbed, on Saturday, a man stole $2,500 from a food store, and on Sunday, a suspect stole from a deli.
In all of those cases, the man claimed to be a police officer.
Neighbors, and longtime customers watched as police processed the scene.
“They’re here 20 years, and it’s a shame what’s going on nowadays. I’m in this neighborhood 72 years,” Maryann Jones said.
There are surveillance cameras all over the place. Once it’s released the hope is that someone can identify the police impersonator. The suspect made off with about $500.