Glendale man pinched for punching Ridgewood bodega clerk and stealing cash during knifepoint heist

The suspect in a Nov. 19, 2018, robbery of a Ridgewood grocery store, later identified by police as John Schnitzler.
Photos courtesy of NYPD

Video footage helped detectives arrest a Glendale man last week who allegedly robbed a Ridgewood grocery store at knifepoint and assaulted a store employee.

Law enforcement sources said that John Schnitzler, 29, of 64th Lane was arrested on Feb. 7 for his alleged role in the Nov. 19, 2018, stickup at the Lucky Guy Deli and Grocery, located at 72-20 Forest Ave.

According to the criminal complaint that the Queens District Attorney’s office provided, Schnitzler allegedly wore a partial face mask and displayed a knife upon walking into the deli at about 10:35 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2018, and confronting a male clerk. Cops said he demanded cash and then punched the worker in the face.

Authorities said Schnitzler allegedly removed $450 in cash from behind the counter and headed for the door, dropping the knife in the process.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the reported robbery. The victim suffered minor injuries.

Police recovered the knife left at the scene as well as video footage from two nearby security cameras, the criminal complaint noted. The footage allegedly showed Schnitzler running at the corner of Norman Street and Forest Avenue just moments after the robbery while wearing the partial face mask as well as a black hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and sneakers.

The evidence led the 104th Precinct Detective Squad to question Schnitzler, who allegedly admitted that he was the masked individual in one of the videos.

Stills from the video which police released days after the robbery show the suspect without wearing a facial mask.

Schnitzler was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Feb. 8 on charges including first-degree robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. According to court records, he was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail or $5,000 bond, and to return to court on Feb. 22.

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