Nassau police on Monday released a store surveillance photo of the suspect in more than a dozen knifepoint robberies confronting a Subway employee in one of the latest holdups.
The image, from the North Merrick sandwich shop on Jerusalem Avenue, appears to show the suspect with his face covered shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, holding what investigators say is a large kitchen knife, his weapon of choice.
The suspect’s features are not visible, one of the challenges Nassau and Suffolk police said they have faced in trying to capture the robber responsible for the holdups or attempted holdups of at least 14 shops since mid-February.
He covers his head and face with a scarf or hat, and his hands with gloves, making it difficult for investigators to determine his race, authorities said.
Yashavant Patel, the manager of the North Merrick Subway, said he couldn’t see any of the suspect’s facial features other than his eyes and a small bit of skin around them.
“I see the big knife, and then he said, ‘Give me money,’ ” Patel said.
The store manager said he was behind the counter and grabbed a bread pan to ward off the robber. Patel said he then pressed a panic button inside the store to summon police.
“I tried to scare him,” he said. The suspect left the store with no cash, police said.
Patel said the robber turned left after leaving the Subway, and it appeared that a silver car was waiting for him because he was nowhere in sight as the car speeded away.
Patel said he saw one of his neighbors nearby, so he shouted, “That guy tried to rob me,” referring to someone in the car. The neighbor looked for a license plate on the car and saw there was none, the Subway manager said.
Nassau police said that about two hours later, the robber held up a TCBY on Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook at knifepoint and made off with an unknown amount of cash.
The suspect’s general description in the attempted Subway robbery and the TCBY holdup fits that of the suspect in the 12 other robberies and attempted robbery, authorities said. He was about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and of average build and wore a dark hat, dark jacket, blue jeans, white sneakers, a scarf over his face, and gloves, police said.
Nassau detectives ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.