Police are on the hunt for four men involved in a brazen armed robbery at a local Rite Aid which may be part of a crime pattern.
According to a NYPD spokesman, four men wearing hooded jackets and face masks ran inside the 24-hour Rite Aid located at 1710 Crosby Avenue store on Thursday, August 27, at 3:10 a.m. and approached the counter with a firearm drawn.
The gun wielding perpetrator aimed the weapon at the cashier stationed behind the counter and demanded all of the money from the register as a second suspect stole a carton of cigarettes.
During this incident, a Rite Aid employee was punched in the face by another suspect, who also stole cell phones from the employee and from a customer, police said.
The NYPD spokesman added that all four suspects fled the scene with their loot and no arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation.
According to John Marano, Community Board 10 first vice chairman, the Rite Aid case is being investigated by the NYPD Robbery Squad and police believe there may be a pattern between this case and a few similar robberies.
Police are investigating the previously reported Monday, August 24 at 2 a.m. armed robbery of Green Apple Deli located at 3571 E. Tremont Avenue in which three masked men, two of which were armed with black semi-automatic handguns, pistol whipped the 24-hour store’s 22-year old cashier and stole $1,300 in cash, about $600 worth of scratch-off NYS Lottery tickets, a carton of cigarettes and the cashier’s iPhone 5 and his iPad Air before fleeing eastbound on Lafayette Avenue.
A NYPD spokeswoman said police are also searching for two men in connection with a Monday, August 24 armed robbery at a 24-hour Clean City laundromat which saw approximately $300 stolen.
According to police, the two men entered through the 2811 Boston Road establishment’s back door at 2:15 a.m. with a black firearm drawn and said to the witness “stay calm, let’s not turn this into a homicide.”
The witness then used a key to open the cash register and the man stole $200 from the register while the other perpetrator looked through some towels discovering $100 hidden underneath them which he promptly stole, the NYPD spokeswoman added.
Police said no arrests have been made in the Clean City armed robbery case and there were no injuries reported following this incident.
“These perpetrators are going out there on a mission and they need to be stopped. This is yet another reason why we need more officers here, plain and simple,” said Marano. “We need store owners to close at a certain time because they’re making themselves targets by staying open for late hours. It costs more for them to stay open than it does for them to close for the night.”
“When it comes to these crime patterns, the police are very good at staying on top of them and they will continue stepping up their efforts until these suspects are caught,” said Bob Bieder, 45th Precinct Community Council president.
A Rite Aid spokeswoman said the company is cooperating and working with local authorities as they investigate the incident.
She added that Rite Aid is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.
Anyone with information about the armed robbery at Rite Rid is asked to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls are kept strictly confidential.