A Ronkonkoma man who police said is a heavy heroin addict has been charged in four armed robberies over the past week at various establishments in Suffolk County — all to fuel his drug habit, authorities said Saturday.
Daniel Flinn, 34, was arrested Friday and charged with four counts of first-degree robbery for incidents at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Hauppauge, a 7-Eleven and a Rite Aid in Islandia, and a Burger King in Farmingville between Aug. 13 and Friday, Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said during a news conference at the Fourth Precinct station house in Smithtown. No arraignment information was available.
In each robbery, Flinn ordered clerks at gunpoint to empty their cash registers, Sini said.
“As in many cases, he committed crimes to steal money to fuel his addiction. He was a heroin addict,” Sini said. “He’s lucky to be alive and better off in handcuffs.”
In a polite twist, Sini said that Flinn told clerks, “please” and “thank you” at each establishment he targeted.
Detectives identified Flinn by a unique tattoo on his right hand and through business surveillance footage. He was also wanted on parole for four prior felony convictions of possession of a controlled substance, burglary and grand larceny.
Flinn was arrested after police found him hiding in the ceiling of his home on Breeze Avenue about 7 a.m. Friday, six hours after the robbery at the 7-Eleven in Islandia was reported. Police said they also recovered an imitation black pistol in the home.
Suffolk police have recently started a medical assistance program in local jails to offer treatment to addicts. Opioid addicts are given the option of a voluntary shot of an opioid antagonist to prevent getting high for 30 days. They are also paired with counseling and treatment services.