Nassau County police are taking an investigation into a string of armed robberies and a related homicide to the streets.
Several members of the police brass joined Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano outside a BP gas station in Jericho on Friday to unveil a giant school-bus sized mobile billboard requesting information that will help an army of investigators find the brazen, gun-toting robber, who has targeted at least 11 businesses, mostly gas stations, in Nassau since mid December.
“Nassau County Crime Stoppers needs your help!” the billboard blares in large white letters.
Crime Stoppers is offering a combined $35,000 reward—$25,000 for the homicide and $10,000 for the robberies—for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
Mangano, standing at a podium in front of the billboard on the gas station’s property, said police are asking the public to help “bring this cold-blooded killer to justice.”
The moving billboard will be driven to the areas where the robberies have occurred, police said. Officials hope this effort will breathe new life into the investigation and perhaps attract the attention of individuals who have crucial information regarding the suspect.
“This person has struck every day of the week,” said Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith, describing how the suspect operates.
“Our resolve is intact,” Smith added. “It’s not diminished. We’re going to catch this guy.”
Police officials are hoping the public can help with their cause.
“Don’t hesitate” to call, Smith implored.
The suspect, who is still unknown to police, is responsible for 10 robberies in the county, beginning on Dec. 20 last year and continuing into February. The suspect last struck on Feb. 18, stealing cash from a Sunoco gas station on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow.
Investigators believe the suspect is also responsible for the fatal shooting of 57-year-old Levittown resident Hany Awad, who was gunned down on Jan. 28 inside the same BP gas station where officials held Friday’s press conference. Police have yet to say what, if anything, was taken from the gas station during the homicide.
The suspect is described as a black man between 5-feet, 11-inches and 6-feet tall, with a thin build, wearing all black Nike clothing, a black mask, black gloves, black Nike sneakers with red laces and armed with either a black or a silver revolver. The assailant has hit nine gas stations and two 7-Eleven stores in Westbury, Hicksville, and Jericho. The robbery in East Meadow was the only one committed outside those three neighborhoods.
Both the robbery and homicides squads are investigating the crime spree. The Major Case Bureau and Bureau of Special Operations are also assisting in the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes can call Crime Stopper sat 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.