An armed robber was foiled four times Wednesday night when one store owner threatened him with a stapler, another victim ducked behind a counter, a third victim said there was no key for the cash register and the fourth victim, a 69-year-old woman, simply refused to hand over her purse, police said.
The string of crimes began at 8:38 p.m. when a man entered the Burger King at 501 Old Country Rd. in Plainview, Nassau County police said.
The man displayed a handgun and demanded money, but the employee ducked behind the counter and the man fled without any proceeds, police said.
The same man entered Uncle Pete’s Gyro & Pizza at 27 Woodbury Rd. in Hicksville at 8:55 p.m. and demanded cash, police said.
The owner saw that the man had a handgun in his waistband, so he picked up a stapler from the counter and threatened to throw it at him, police said.
Once again, the man fled without any proceeds, police said.
At 9:05 p.m. the man went into Dunkin’ Donuts at 333 Jericho Tpke. in Syosset, displayed a handgun and demanded that an employee give him cash from the register, police said.
The employee said the register needed a key to open it, enraging the man, who pushed the register to the floor, took a tip jar from the counter and fled, police said.
At 9:25 p.m., the man went up to the 69-year-old woman in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s at 425 S. Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview and demanded her purse, police said.
“The victim refused and the subject then fled through the parking lot without any proceeds,” police said in a news release.
Detectives said they believe all the crimes were committed by the same person, who was in his early 20s, about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot 10, with a thin build and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black hat, blue jeans and white sneakers.
Anyone with information about any of the crimes was asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477. All callers will remain anonymous, police said.
Three of the crimes were classified as attempted robberies, police said, while the theft of the tip jar and its contents was classified as a robbery.