An armed robbery of a Wantagh convenience store Wednesday night led to the arrest of two men who were later charged with committing numerous other robberies throughout Nassau County in the last few months.
According to detectives, on Wednesday, at 8:35 p.m., Michael Molinaro, 36, of 156 of Levittown and David Jones, 37, of East Rockaway entered the Quick Pick Convenience Store at 2264 Wantagh Ave. and announced a robbery while displaying a handgun. After obtaining an undetermined amount of money from a 43 year old female store employee, the men fled the scene on foot. No injuries were reported.
Shortly after fleeing the store, Molinaro and Jones were observed by Seventh Precinct police officers in a 2012 Kia on Brookside Avenue in Wantagh and after an investigation placed them into custody without incident.
A further investigation by detectives revealed that the duo was responsible for numerous other robberies including two on Sept. 16, 2012 in Levittown and East Rockaway. Police said the Levittown incident involved Molinaro and Jones entering Gold Buyers Jewelry at 3259 Hempstead Turnpike while armed with a handgun and demanding money from a 57 year old male victim, who complied with an unknown amount of cash. Later that same day at 7:55 P.M. , the defendants entered Dairy Barn at 560 Atlantic Avenue in East Rockaway displaying a handgun. After obtaining an unknown amount of U.S. currency from the register the defendants fled on foot eastbound on Atlantic Avenue.
No injuries were reported in either of the Sept. 16 robberies.
Police said on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 5:40 p.m., Jones and Molinaro entered the Mobil Gas Station at 579 Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead while displaying a handgun and removed an unknown amount of cash from the register before fleeing on foot southbound on Nassau Boulevard. Two male store employees, ages 67 and 24 were present during the robbery but were not injured.
On Jan. 14, the two men entered the BP Gas Station at 1111 Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square while armed with a handgun. The defendants removed an unknown amount of cash from the register and also removed money from a 47-year old male victim’s pocket. They fled on foot southbound on Scherer Boulevard. No injuries were reported.
On Monday, Jan. 21 at 5:48 p.m., the defendants entered Paul’s Dry Cleaners at 432 Atlantic Avenue in East Rockaway and demanded money from a 45 year-old male victim. After obtaining an unknown amount of cash from the register, the duo fled on foot northbound on Atlantic Avenue. No injuries were reported.
A week later on Jan. 28 at 1:21 p.m., police said Jones and Molinaro entered The Barn at 114 Franklin Avenue in Franklin Square and while displaying a firearm, removed an unknown amount of cash from the register and a safe. A 37-year old female store employee was present but not injured. The defendants then fled the scene.
On Friday Feb. 1 at 6:08 p.m., Molinaro and Jones entered Fortune Smoke Stax at 485 Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead. While armed with a handgun they demanded money from a 31- year old male store employee. After obtaining an unknown amount of cash from two registers, the duo fled on foot in an unknown direction. No injuries were reported.
The last robbery Molinaro and Jones is charged with prior to Wednesday's Wantagh incident occurred on Super Bowl Sunday with the two men entered the Valero Gas Station at 758 Franklin Avenue in North Valley Stream at 8:20 p.m. while displaying a firearm, according to police. They demanded money from a 60- year old store employee and after obtaining an unknown amount of cash from the register, fled in a Kia vehicle southbound on Franklin Avenue. No injuries were reported.
Molinaro and Jones were charged with 18 counts of second-degree robbery and will be arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Thursday.