NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for a serial robbery suspect in Suffolk County and police believe the woman, armed with a knife, struck another chain store Tuesday night.
It is believed to be the sixth time she has struck in less than a week.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, she likes to strike near closing time.
The latest incident happened at a Dollar Tree on Horseblock Road in Medford. The employee opened the register and the woman took the cash, police said, and then ran, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
“Typically grabs an item to purchase, goes to the cashier to purchase that item, and during the transaction takes out a pocket sized knife and demands cash,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Tim Sini said.
Horseblock Road is also where a Farmingville Carvel store was held up twice.
“Friday night she had face paint on, Saturday night she just had a couple of white stripes on one cheek,” Carvel manager Debbie Davidson told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.
Davidson was frustrated to hear she’s struck again.
“Myself and the owner, we’re taking turns being here every night,” she told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris. “We got pepper spray now.”
Police describe the suspect as being 5’1″ tall with blond hair who at times disguises herself with a dark wig. They say she brandishes the same pink-handled knife in each case, Doris reported.
“A pink knife with a black blade,” said Davidson.
And it doesn’t matter that there were multiple workers inside at the time.
“Two of them laughed at her, they thought she was joking at first but she was dead serious,” said Davidson. “‘Give me the ‘effing money’ and that changed their tune right away.”
Police said she targets small chain stores throughout Suffolk County, including a North Patchouge Dunkin’ Donuts on Medford Avenue that police say was hit Monday night. The spree apparently started at a Family Dollar.
“Very scary what’s going on in this community,” said employee Patrick Jordan. “Whatever is going on, the police really need to crack down on this.”
Police sources said the woman may not have been working alone, and may have had an accomplice waiting in a car outside the businesses to make a quick getaway.
La Roma Pizza in Farmingville is just a few yards away from two victimized businesses.
Restaurant owner Gus Malakatas is convinced he’s been spared because his cash register is far from the front door. Still, he’s staying alert.
“Have to look around because it’s very scary,” he said.
In May, Suffolk County police arrested a man who they said was responsible for a series of 18 chain store robberies.
Police say the armed woman isn’t connected to those robberies, but shop owners believe she does seem to be following that trend and say their teenage employees are terrified.
“I hope they catch her before she hurts somebody,” said Tom Carpone, owner of the Carvel.
So far no one is injured, and store owners are hoping police make a quick arrest.
Cops are urging local businesses to have more than one employee working at closing time and to make sure surveillance cameras and security systems are working.
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 631-852-6555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.