2004-04-08 / Front Page

Thieves Hit Avenue L Store In Brazen Daylight Robbery

By Charles Rogers
Thieves Hit Avenue L Store In Brazen Daylight Robbery By Charles Rogers

By Charles Rogers

Police converge on small grocery store on Avenue L at East 98 Street Thursday after robbery by three gun-wielding thieves. No one was injured.  						           Charles RogersPolice converge on small grocery store on Avenue L at East 98 Street Thursday after robbery by three gun-wielding thieves. No one was injured. Charles Rogers

Three men brazenly entered a small grocery store on Avenue L last Thursday at 11:30 a.m., held the owner, a customer and a Hostess Cup Cakes delivery man at bay at gunpoint and robbed them of a wallet and more than $500 cash, cigarettes and phone cards, police said. No one was injured and the thieves got away, apparently on foot, the owner said. The names of the victims were not released.

According to police from the 69th Precinct, the three men entered the store and immediately displayed black handguns, directing two of the victims to lie on the floor. While two of the robbers aimed their guns at the customer and delivery man, the other thief directed the owner to go behind the counter and open the cash register.

"Give me your money," he said to the owner. When the proprietor complied, he was told to lie on the floor and the thief took cigarettes and phone cards from behind the counter.

Meanwhile, the other two thieves took a small amount of cash from the customer and the wallet, containing a driver’s license, cash and other papers, from the delivery man.

All three thieves then departed the store and fled north on foot towards Avenue K. The owner called police and accompanied patrol officers on a canvass of the neighborhood to see if he could spot the robbers but he was unable to do so.

The three thieves were identified as black and wearing baseball caps and black overcoats. One wore a red bandana over his face, while the others did not wear masks.

"I’ve owned the store for about two years and I’ve been robbed once before — about eight or nine months ago," the owner said, noting the previous proprietor had been robbed "many times" in the seven years he owned the store.

"He sold the store and left because of having been robbed so much," the present owner said.

The store is located two blocks away from the more-traveled section of the Avenue L shopping district.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the 69th Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 257-6215 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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