MAHWAH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A gunman was caught on camera robbing two 24-hour stores in New Jersey.
Police in Bergen County are describing the man as armed and dangerous.
CBS2’s Brian Conybeare obtained exclusive surveillance video of both crimes.
The suspect wearing a green T-shirt over a blue hoodie can be seen walking in and pulling out a silver handgun. An unsuspecting worker wiping down the grill suddenly gets the gun pointed right at his face.
“The guy he walked in, he told him, ‘I need the money,’” store manager Yahia Assaidi said.
It happened around 3 a.m. Thursday in the Quick Stop Deli at the Liberty gas station on Route 17 North in Mahwah.
The employee calmly walks to the register, pulls out the cash drawer and starts handing over the money, but the gunman reaches over, grabs a handful of bills and starts stuffing them in his pants pocket. He even empties the deli worker’s tip jar on the counter.
Then, he heads out the door and disappears, leaving the victim uninjured but badly shaken.
“Of course he’s scared, because he working in the kitchen. He don’t know when the guy walk in. He saw the gun in his head,” said Assaidi.
Police believe this wasn’t the busy gunman’s only target overnight, Conybeare reported. He’s also suspected of hitting a 7-Eleven about 19 miles away in Elmwood Park.
About an hour after the first crime, a similar scene unfolded in the store on Market Street.
Investigators believe it’s the same man wearing a green T-shirt and blue hoodie, waving the same silver handgun at workers.
This time, he appears to be looking at his smartphone while again reaching over the counter and grabbing fistfuls of cash – about $350, according to police.
“The police here do a great job, and you don’t really hear about armed robberies though,” resident Steve Schwarz said.
Shwarz is a lifelong Mahwah resident who regularly fills up at the Liberty Station on Route 17.
“Definitely a little surprised, but there’s a lot of crazy people out there. And this time of year, people get desperate,” he said.
Both he and police are now keeping an eye out for the man with the silver gun, hoping he’s caught before anyone gets hurt.
Police say the same suspect also tried to rob the gas station attendant outside the deli in Mahwah, but didn’t get any money from him.