Nassau County police said Monday they’ve linked the knife-point robbery of a Westbury Carvel ice cream shop on Sunday night to two other robberies and an attempted robbery committed by a machete-wielding bandit.
“We are very confident that this is the same individual,” Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, a department spokesman, said at a news briefing at police headquarters in Mineola. “The subject has threatened employees with a machete during the first three robberies and on the last robbery, which was last night, a large kitchen knife.”
The department is on “high alert” in pursuit of the robber, LeBrun said, and is concentrating not only its patrol force, but plainclothes officers and detectives, including members of specialty teams such as the Bureau of Special Operations and the Criminal Intelligence Rapid Response Team, in places where similar businesses are located.
“Everybody is looking for this individual right now,” said LeBrun, who added that police are investigating why the suspect switched from a machete to a knife.
No injuries have been reported in any of the robberies, police said. The latest shop targeted by the suspect was the Carvel store at 801 Carman Ave. in Westbury, which was held up at 8:02 p.m. Sunday, police said.
The third holdup in the pattern took place in Bethpage, with the robber entering a Carvel on Hicksville Road and displaying a machete, police said. The thief went behind the counter, demanded money from a 19-year-old worker and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said. The robber was described as male, between 5 feet 7- and 5 feet 10-inches tall, and wearing a black hooded jacket, mask and gloves.
At 9:12 p.m., Feb. 15 in Seaford, the same robber — holding a machete — entered a Dunkin’ Donuts shop on Merrick Road and fled after a worker told him there was no money, police said. That robber was described as 5 feet 7-inches tall and wearing dark clothing, police said.
Cops believe the same suspect went to the Carvel store on Northwest Drive in South Farmingdale — about a 10-minute drive and 5 1⁄2 miles from the Seaford doughnut shop — where he showed the machete and demanded money, leaving with about $40, police said.
In the three robberies and the attempted holdup, the suspect was a wearing a mask or had his face covered, police said.
LeBrun urged shop owners and workers to be on alert and to comply with the demands of any robbers.
Despite the robber’s apparent penchant for Carvel stores, cops say he’s not looking for an ice cream cone.
“The subject is only asking for cash,” LeBrun said.
Recent knife- and machete-point robberies:
Feb 15 — Suspect uses a machete in the attempted robbery of Dunkin’ Donuts at 4007 Merrick Rd., Seaford
Feb. 15 — Suspect uses a machete in the robbery of a Carvel at 317 Northwest Dr., South Farmingdale
March 21 — Suspect uses a machete to hold up a Carvel at 4246 Hicksville Rd., Bethpage
Sunday — Suspect uses a large kitchen knife in the robbery of a Carvel at 801 Carman Ave., Westbury