Three men rob Mattituck gas station at gunpoint

11/20/2012 12:19 PM |

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Three men robbed this Mattituck gas station of more than $4,000 worth of cash and cigarettes.

A Mattituck gas station was robbed of thousands in cash and cigarettes by three masked men armed with a handgun Monday night, according to the station’s manager.

A masked man entered the BP station on Main Road about 10:15 p.m. and brandished a handgun at the store’s cashier, said manager Recep Zaim on Tuesday. The man forced the employee to lie down on the ground while two other men wearing masks over their faces entered the store began emptying the cash register behind the counter.

About $4,000 in cash and 11 cartons of cigarettes were taken in the robbery, Mr. Zaim said. The men then went to the back of the store and smashed the surveillance cameras before fleeing the scene, he said. The cameras will cost about $2,000 to replace, the manager said.

The employee was unharmed in the robbery, Mr. Zaim said. Police arrived on scene, he said, and were investigating the incident.

Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley said in an interview that the suspects fled the area down a nearby side street. K-9 units were called to the scene to investigate, though no one has been arrested yet, he said.

Southold detectives are currently investigating the incident.

The store had been broken into after closing time before, the manager said, but never robbed.

“Not at gunpoint, but every year it’s something,” Mr. Zaim said. Still, he said the area is generally very safe and he was surprised by the robbery.

“I worked other places and you know, this happens, but not here,” Mr. Zaim said. “You think you’re in a safe neighborhood and then this happens.”

psquire@timesreview.com