Pattern robber with handgun strikes again

Pattern robber with handgun strikes again

File photo

An armed robber who restrains victims before stealing cash has hit another location in Suffolk County, according to police.

The suspect entered Beach Bum Tanning in Huntington Station on Friday night with a handgun and forced two employees to the back of the store and then restrained them, the Suffolk County Police Department said. The man then took cash from the shop’s drawers.

Neither female employee was injured in the incident, police said, and there were no customers in the East Jericho Turnpike store at the time of the robbery, at about 8:30 p.m. But the crime was a familiar one.

Police have already been on the hunt for the suspect, who followed a similar routine at the Huntington Station Pier 1 Imports, also on East Jericho, on Nov. 22. In that armed robbery, the suspect restrained employees and customers at the back of the store, then made an employee open the shop’s safe and took cash from the registers.

The two crimes were similar to those that have taken place across Long Island since late August, including four robberies at women’s clothing stores in Suffolk County: on Sept. 7 in East Farmingdale, on Oct. 12 in West Babylon, on Oct. 26 in Deer Park and on Nov. 2 in North Lindenhurst.

The suspect in all of the armed robberies is described as black, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, and of a thin to medium build, police said. During the Pier 1 robbery, he was wearing a mask and a hoodie, but police said he was wearing a scarf and a hat during the Beach Bum Tanning robbery.

Detectives from the SCPD’s Pattern Crime Unit are investigating the incident and Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.