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Hempstead man charged in knifepoint holdups

Brian T. Joseph, 22, of Hempstead, has been

Brian T. Joseph, 22, of Hempstead, has been charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property, Nassau County police said. (Sept. 20, 2012) Credit: NCPD

A 22-year-old Hempstead man charged in a string of knifepoint robberies was ordered held on $1-million bond, or $500,000 cash bail, at his arraignment Thursday.

Brian T. Joseph, of 60 Lancaster Ave., was charged with eight counts of first-degree robbery, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

According to felony complaints filed in court, the most recent robbery occurred at about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday when Joseph entered the BP gas station at 470 Grand Ave. in South Hempstead, took out a large silver knife and told a worker to give him everything. When the worker refused, Joseph threatened to kill and tried to stab the worker, the court papers say.

The worker grabbed the bat and was cut with the knife during a struggle, the complaint said, and Joseph took $300 from the cash register and fled. The worker was treated at the scene for cuts from the knife.

According to the court documents, the robbery spree began at about 4 a.m. Feb. 14 at the 24 Hour Laundromat at 1219 Grand Ave. in Baldwin when Joseph, armed with a kitchen knife, took cash from the register and a worker's cellphone before fleeing on foot.

Then on March 22, at about 3:30 a.m., Joseph armed with a knife took cash from the register at the Mobil gas station at 1214 Grand Ave. in Baldwin, the records show.

On April 29 at 12:35 p.m., Joseph, using a knife, took money from the register at The Dairy Barn, at 1230 Grand Ave. in Baldwin, then forced a worker into the back of the store and took additional money stored there, according to the court papers.

Joseph is not alleged to have committed more robberies over the next three months but at about 4:25 a.m. on Aug 11, the court documents say he jumped over the counter at a Dunkin' Donuts at 389 Atlantic Ave. in Freeport. Displaying a knife he took cash from the register and jumped back over the counter before fleeing, the documents say.

According to the court papers, Joseph also committed robberies, using a knife in each case, at a 7-Eleven, at 310 Hempstead Ave. in West Hempstead on Aug. 24, and the Mobil gas station at 1214 Grand Ave. in Baldwin on Sept. 6.

At 2 a.m. Sept. 13, police said, Joseph entered the same 7-Eleven store on Hempstead Avenue as the month before, approached the 49-year-old female cashier, displayed a large knife and demanded cash.

Joseph wore black pants and a white T-shirt, pulled up to cover his face, police said.

Neither police nor the court papers detailed how Joseph was linked to the other robberies but said the complaint was based on recovered evidence and Joseph's statement to police.

The court documents also allege Joseph was found to be in possession of stolen debit card at 900 Merrick Rd. on Wednesday. The weapons possession charge stems from the knife used in the Sept. 19 robbery, according to the complaint.

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