According to the Bloomfield police director, the suspect walked into the Hookah Plus located at 406 Bloomfield Avenue. Once inside the store, the suspect allegedly approached the owner and asked him to find some items he planned to buy.
After the owner got the merchandise and placed the items on the front counter, the suspect allegedly pulled out a black handgun. The suspect then allegedly demanded that the store owner hand over jewelry, including a chain. The suspect also allegedly snatched a bracelet off the victim’s arm. It is believed that the suspect got away with nearly $7,000 in cash and jewelry.
Once the suspect got the cash and the jewelry, he reportedly exited the store and fled the scene on foot. Although the store owner followed the suspect outside the store, he stopped pursuit when the suspect allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened him.
According to witnesses, the suspect walked east on Bloomfield Avenue and then turned south onto Sherman Court.
Thankfully, the 62-year-old victim did not suffer any injuries as a result of the incident.
Bloomfield police officers were called to the scene and immediately began an investigation.
Witnesses provided police with a description of the suspect. The suspect is reportedly a Hispanic male in his early 20s, standing roughly 5-foot-7 and with average build and body type. The suspect was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and carrying a backpack at the time of the incident. Additionally, the store owner said that the suspect had a goatee.
Investigators obtained video surveillance footage of the alleged theft. Police recently released still photos, taken from the video footage, of the suspect.
If the suspect is eventually identified and caught, he could face severe penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, armed robbery is a first degree criminal offense. Since the suspect in this case is accused of brandishing both a firearm and a knife during the robbery, he would likely face first degree felony charges. A conviction for first degree armed robbery is punishable by a sentence of 10–20 years in New Jersey State Prison.
The Bloomfield Police Department has asked for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the suspect in the alleged theft. Anyone with helpful information is asked to contact Bloomfield detectives at 973-680-4084.
For further information about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Bloomfield Police Ask for Help Finding Man Who Robbed Hookah Store at Gunpoint.”