Gas station robbery caught on tape

April 7, 2008 4:17:31 PM PDT
A clerk at a local gas station was robbed at gunpoint, and the frightening and violent armed robbery was all caught on camera. Now, police are hoping the surveillance video will help them catch the suspects.

The robbery happened overnight in Middletown, New York.

Eyewitness News reporter Marcus Solis has the story.

From the minute the two suspects rushed in and hopped over the counter, it was clear what was going down. It was an armed robbery captured on surveillance video.

It happened just before midnight at a Getty gas station on Dolson Avenue in Middletown. On the tape, one of the suspects is seen trying, without success, to open the register. Finally, he forced the victim to his feet, while holding the gun by his leg.

"You can see in the video that the suspects were a little frustrated," Middletown police Lieutenant Paul Rickard said. "The clerk is obviously terrified. There's a gun pointed at his head. So there's a little bit of frustration, which you can see."

The suspects made off with $600 in cash, some lottery tickets and cigarettes. The 50-year old cashier was not hurt. The Getty is owned by Bhajan Singh, who says all of his gas stations in Middletown have been robbed.

"It's bad," he said. "It's been going on a lot, here especially. I think we had four or five in the three years, maybe more."

Following the last robbery, the owner installed a security window for after hours, but the idea was scrapped because it was bad for business.

"It's not convenient, because every item somebody wants, he has to go all around the store and get that item," Singh said. "And people don't like to stand outside in the cold weather."

In January, police made a quick arrest of two suspects in similar robberies. Now, detectives hope the video and the distinctive marking on the jeans of one of the suspects will help them crack this case.