Police are searching for the crook who robbed a Howard Beach smoke shop pistol-whipped an employee last week.
Police from the 106th Precinct reported that the heist occurred on the night of Wednesday, Oct. 11, when the suspect entered the Gem Smoke Shop at 150-19 Cross Bay Blvd., just south of the Belt Parkway, at around 10:15 p.m., pulled out a handgun and went behind the counter, where he removed around $3,000 in cash. Before leaving the smoke shop, the perpetrator struck the employee over the head with the firearm, police said.
The crook drove away from the crime scene in a white SUV heading southbound on Cross Bay Boulevard, according to authorities.
The NYPD released surveillance images of the suspect on Oct. 16 and described him as having a light complexion and medium build. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants, black sneakers and a black facemask.
A reward of up to $3,500 is being offered for information that leads to his arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Through Oct. 15, the 106th Precinct has reported 168 robberies so far in 2023, 8 fewer than the 176 reported at the same point last year, a decrease of 4.5%, according to the most recent CompStat report.