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Police: Masked bandit who robbed Suffolk businesses arrested

Marchell Rountree, 50, of Bellport, was arrested in

Marchell Rountree, 50, of Bellport, was arrested in a Suffolk robbery spree, police said Monday. Credit: SCPD

A surgical mask-wearing bandit who held up a string of Suffolk businesses turned himself in after his mother recognized him from a surveillance photo, authorities said Monday.

Suffolk police released the photo, taken during an April 24 robbery of an East Patchogue gas station, to the media on Saturday. Two days later, Marchell Rountree, 50, of Bellport, surrendered to police, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said in a statement.

Rountree told police officers: “Lots of people saw my picture, but a mother knows her child,” according to the statement from Sini’s office, which cited court documents.

Rountree is accused of robbing at gunpoint several businesses in East Patchogue, Yaphank and Holbrook. The businesses were robbed between Feb. 17 and Saturday, according to authorities.

That spree, police said, included robberies of the 7-Eleven at 139 Sunrise Hwy. in East Patchogue on Feb. 17; the Speedway gas station at 80 Horseblock Rd. in Yaphank on Feb. 25; the 7-Eleven in East Patchogue again, this time on April 21; the Valero gas station at 151 Hospital Rd. in East Patchogue on April 24; and the 7-Eleven at 796 Broadway Ave. in Holbrook on Saturday.

Major Case Unit detectives said that in each holdup, the culprit donned a surgical mask, then entered the business, displayed a handgun, and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Rountree was charged with five counts of first-degree robbery. He was arraigned Monday and held on bail of $125,000 cash or $250,000 bond, Sini said.

Rountree is being represented by the Legal Aid Society. He is due back in court on Friday, Sini said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed a Marchell Rountree quote about his mother identifying him from a photo. The quote came from a Suffolk district attorney’s office news release.

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