Cops: Pair charged in Nassau armed robbery spree
Two men arrested after an armed robbery in Wantagh on Wednesday night were linked to eight additional armed robberies in a spree that dated to last September, police said.
Michael Molinaro, 36, of 156 Noell St., Levittown, and David Jones, 37, of 20 Flint Rd., East Rockaway, were charged with 18 counts of second-degree armed robbery -- and both face arraignment Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead, police said.
Nassau County police said the pair entered the Quick Pick Convenience Store on Wantagh Avenue at about 8:35 p.m. Wednesday and said one flashed a handgun as the twosome announced a robbery. The 43-year-old store clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, police said, and the pair then fled the scene on foot.
No one was injured.
Police later found the two in a 2012 Kia that officers stopped on Brookside Avenue in Wantagh at about 9:45 p.m. They were arrested without incident.
A subsequent investigation linked the pair to a series of store robberies dating back to at least Sept. 16, police said.
Those robberies, according to police, include:
Sept. 16. Molinaro and Jones entered Gold Buyers Jewelry on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown at about 1:30 p.m. and, armed with a handgun, demanded cash from a 57-year-old man, who complies. Just before 8 p.m. that day the two enter a Dairy Barn store on Atlantic Avenue in East Rockaway, display a gun, get cash -- and flee on foot.
Jan. 13. At about 5:40 p.m., the pair enter a Mobil gas station on Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead, flash a gun, announce a robbery -- and again steal cash. They then run off on Nassau Boulevard, leaving the two store employees, ages 67 and 24, unharmed in their wake.
Jan. 14. The two enter a BP gas station on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square at about 5:40 p.m., showing a gun, taking cash, even robbing the 47-year-old attendant of his money, before fleeing, police said.
Jan. 21. said Molinaro and Jones walk into Paul's Dry Cleaners on Atlantic Avenue in East Rockaway, demand money from a 45-year-old store employee, get it -- and flee.
The robbery takes place at about 5:45 p.m.
No one is injured.
Jan. 28. Jones and Molinaro are back at it, police said, robbing The Barn on Franklin Avenue in Franklin Square at about 1:20 p.m. Armed, the two take money from a safe. The 37-year-old female employee is not injured. The two get away.
Feb. 1. Not long after 6 p.m., police said Jones and Molinaro walk into Fortune Smoke Stax on Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead and, armed with a handgun, demand cash from the 31-year-old man running the store. The employee complies and the two flee.
Feb. 3. At about 8:20 p.m., Molinaro and Jones entered the Valero gas station on Franklin Avenue in North Valley Stream and forced the 60-year-old man working there to hand over cash. The two flee in the Kia. No one is injured.
Police declined to say if they believe the pair are tied to any additional crimes, saying the investigation was continuing Thursday.