PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An armed robber was foiled four times in less than an hour this week, as managers and customers of Long Island establishments refused to give in to his demands.

Ultimately, he only got away with a tip jar from one of the robberies.

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As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the attempted robberies all happened Wednesday evening between 8:38 p.m. and 9:25 p.m. Maria Hernandez showed video of one frightening and dangerous encounter at the Burger King at 501 Old Country Rd. in Plainview.

“He came in and asked for my cashier with the order, and I said, ‘OK,’ and he said, ‘Can you open the register?’” Hernandez said. The man then pulled out a gun, she said.

With that, Hernandez ducked.

The bold robber then ran toward Woodbury Road, undeterred by police. His next stop at 8:55 p.m. was the popular Greek restaurant Uncle Pete’s Gyro & Pizza, at 27 Woodbury Rd. in Hicksville.

The owner was inside.

“I was setting my tables. All of a sudden, I saw the guy here, and Pete was, you know, behind the register,” a staffer said.

“I was behind the counter right here — last minute shopper. I figured he wanted a gyro. He said yeah,
and then I said, ‘What the (expletive)!’ And he had a gun or a fake gun something hanging on his belt,” owner Pete, “and then he just ran like a robber.”

The owner picked up a stapler and threatened to throw it at the suspect, who left empty-handed, police said. 

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The robber was foiled again. But at 9:05 p.m., he walked into a Dunkin’ Donuts at 333 Jericho Turnpike in Syosset, where he displayed the gun again and demanded cash from the register from an employee, police said.

The staffer told the suspect that a key would be needed to open the register, police said. The suspect got angry and pushed the entire cash register to a floor, before taking a tip jar from the counter and leaving, police said.

Finally at 9:25 p.m., he accosted a 69-year-old woman at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s at 425 S. Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview, police said. The man demanded the woman’s purse, but she refused, police said.

“Stupid – your life or your purse,” said Woodbury shopper Diana Jayne, who said she “absolutely” would have given up her property.

“Shocked and dismayed, so hope it doesn’t happen again, but I see they have security here now,” said Jericho shopper Ruth Sturgess.

The suspect is described as a white man in his early 20s, standing 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a black-hooded sweat shirt, and white sneakers.

The victims were wondering Thursday if the suspect was a drug addict, and said they feel lucky there was no violence.

There were no injuries, and police are urging additional witnesses to come forward.

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Anyone with information is asked to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at (800) 244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.