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Suspected Gas Station Bandit, Accomplice Nabbed in Queens

NYPD reporting arrest of two men linked to 10 gas station robberies in Nassau.

OK gas station on Hempstead Avenue in West Hempstead.
OK gas station on Hempstead Avenue in West Hempstead.
Story by Joe Dowd

The NYPD is reporting the arrest of two men they say could be linked to a series of early-morning gas station robberies over the past eight days across Nassau County.

The suspects, who were also wanted for five similar gas station heists in Queens during March, were apprehended near Kissena Park after officers spotted a suspicious car and followed it, police said.

They are believed to be responsible for heists in Hicksville, Farmingdale, Levittown and a string of North Shore locations.

Police told the New York Daily News that they spotted a Mercury Villager minivan thieves used at 10 service station robberies in Nassau County and five in Queens.

When police attempted to stop the vehicle about 8 a.m. Wednesday, the driver sped off into Kissena Park."

A chase resulted,” police commissioner Raymond Kelly told The News. “One person was apprehended in the van. Another fled the vehicle and went into a park."

A manhunt ensued and the second suspect was apprehended about three hours later about six miles from the park.

Police said they recovered the gun used by the bandit, whose M.O. was to demand cash and cigarettes in the 3-o'clock hour at gas stations across Long Island.

The pattern became apparent on Friday, when three robberies took place in a 20-minute period in Farmingdale, Hicksville and Levittown. They came one day to the hour that three gas stations were hit along Northern Boulevard in the Roslyn-Great Neck area Thursday by a man fitting the same description.

Two days earlier, two stations were hit by a man fitting a similar description. A BP Gas station in Garden City Park was robbed about 3:30 a.m. and a second station was struck in West Hempstead 30 minutes later about four miles away. In both cases, the man demanded and made off with money and cigarettes.

The serial robbery suspect was described as being a light skinned black male, 5’ 8,” and 25-30 years of age. Until Wednesday, there was no mention of an accomplice.

Nassau County Police said they couldn't confirm the suspects were the same ones responsible for the Nassau heists, which began just over a week ago.

The investigation, they said, is ongoing, and Nassau detectives are in touch with NYPD cops.

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