New York City, NY

Smoke Shop Thief Caught with his Hand in the Till

Police are searching for this man who has been linked to the robbery of at least three smoke shops in Queens and Manhattan.Photo byNYPD

By Dan Gesslein

NYC News Network

September 29, 2023

NEW YORK - A smoke shop crook was caught on camera with his hand in the register. Cops said the same crook not only robbed two Queens smoke shops but also one in Manhattan.

At around 5:20 pm on September 22, two men entered a smoke shop in Ridgewood, Queens. Cops said the men walked up to a 25-year-old employee and displayed a knife.

The store’s surveillance cameras captured one of the clerks removing $400 cash out of the register. Cops said they also removed $600 worth of merchandise.

The crooks exited the store, hopped on a motorized scooter and drove off southbound on Stephen Street.

No injuries were reported.

An investigation by police has linked one of the suspects to at least two other smoke shop robberies.

At around 4:20 pm on September 8, a man entered a smoke shop at 65-16 Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood Queens. The crook went up to a 32-year-old employee and displayed a knife.

The robber took $500 cash from the register and left the store without incident.

The last robbery linked to the same suspect took place on the Upper East Side. At around 4:30 pm on September 20, a male walked into the smoke shop at 1490 First Avenue. He walked up to the 22-year-old employee and demanded cash. The clerk opened the register and, cops said, the robber removed $2,000 cash as well as various merchandise.

Investigators said the robber left the store without incident. He hopped on a scooter and drover southbound on York Avenue.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

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