Sometimes, maybe Uber isn’t the best option.
Suffolk County police said a Brentwood man was arrested Sunday night after he robbed a Dunkin’ store on Suffolk Avenue, then entered “an awaiting Uber” — and had the driver take him home.
A customer took down the license plate, detectives contacted the driver and the call log showed the suspect’s address, police said. That led to the arrest of Andrew Sandson, 57, at his home on Grant Avenue barely 40 minutes after the alleged robbery took place.
Sandson was charged with third-degree robbery, police said. No defense attorney information was available.
Police could not say how Sandson got to the Dunkin’.
What police did say was that a man entered the store at 759 Suffolk Ave. at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, handed a note to an employee at the counter that stated he had a gun and demanded cash. Police said the employee handed the man cash from the register. “Sandson then exited the store, got into a car, and left the scene,” police said in a statement. No gun was displayed and no one was injured.
After tracing the plate to the Uber driver, who police said was not involved in the robbery, detectives were able to locate Sandson at his Grant Avenue home about a mile away. He was arrested at 10:11 p.m.
“We are grateful for this driver’s efforts to help law enforcement with their investigation,” Uber said in a statement. “The rider’s access to the app has been permanently removed.”
This is not the first time a suspect has used an Uber or another car service to drive to or from a crime scene, according to media reports.
A Garden City Park man was arrested by Nassau County police and charged with robbing a Mineola bank in 2016, after police said he used a cab to escape. In 2017, an East Northport man — sent to prison after trying to rob a bank in the hamlet and using a taxi as a getaway car in 2014 — was caught after, police said, he crashed his getaway car from a robbery and hitched a ride to a nearby Long Island Rail Road station.
Also in 2017, a suspect dubbed “The Ride-Share Bandit” was arrested after being tracked through a car service he used to flee a robbery scene in Portland, Oregon.
And earlier this year police in Oklahoma City arrested three teenage girls who authorities said called Uber to pick them up from an attempted bank robbery. The stunned driver arrived to find a swarm of cop cars and police arresting his would-be fares. Cops said they were tipped off when the Uber driver who brought the teens to the scene called 911 to report the girls had been acting “suspicious.”
Information on Sandson’s arraignment was not available online Monday.
With Robert Brodsky