Oil Delivery Truck Drivers Targeted by Thievesby Jana Ritter - Published: 1/28/2014
In the last month there have been at least four incidents of oil delivery drivers being held up by a band of thieves in Nassau County and police are asking for the public’s help in tracking them down. In each incident, the victims have been assaulted and robbed of money and personal property while making oil deliveries to homes, police said.
“Men are grabbed by two to three subjects, generally grabbed from behind, one subject will approach them, demand whatever cash they have on them,” Nassau County Police Det. Sgt. John Giambrone said.
The most recent incident happened just before 8 a.m. on Monday in Roosevelt. Police said a 41-year-old driver was held up by a masked gunman while making a delivery on Margaret Drive. The truck driver from Petro Oil was delivering oil to a home in Roosevelt on Margaret Drive when he was approached by a masked black male. The man displayed a handgun and demanded that the driver hand over his money. The driver complied, and the man fled on foot down Margaret Drive with an unknown amount of money.
The suspect is described as being between 15 and 20 years old, 5’5”to 5’7” tall, with a thin build. He was wearing a black hooded puffy jacket, dark mask, gloves, and blue jeans.
“He watched him and passed him and his delivery truck as he was hooking up his line to make a fuel delivery,” Giambrone said. “A few seconds later, this suspect appears from behind the house he was making delivery to. He produces a handgun and demands whatever cash he had on him.”
“In the first event there were three subjects, the next two there were two and now this one was a lone subject, but they’re all pretty much in the same area so we’re going to investigate it as that these subjects are all working together,” Giambrone added. At the scene of the second robbery on Webster Avenue in Hempstead, a next-door neighbor was so frightened by it she wouldn’t give her name. “It’s very distressing. This was a nice neighborhood. To think this is going on is very unsettling,” the woman said.
Police urged homeowners to not try to intervene should they see an attempted robbery taking place, but rather call 911 if they see something suspicious. “They should comply with the subjects’ demand,” Giambrone said. “Keep very minimal cash on them.” Extra patrols have been added and police said they are calling on the oil companies to add an extra driver for greater security.
Police said the thieves got only a few hundred dollars but they released a sketch of one of the suspects. All the suspects are described as black males in their 20s, wearing dark hooded jackets and masks. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
So far, no injuries have been reported, but police are advising drivers to be cautious.