PATERSON, NJ - A string of three armed robberies over a two-hour period in the city Sunday night are believed to have been committed by the same suspect.
At 8:48 p.m., a mini-market at 34 Essex St. was the first target. A thin Hispanic male with a goatee wearing a black T-shirt, a red bandana and blue jeans entered the store and threatened the woman behind the counter with a sawed-off shotgun, according to Sgt. Dean Barone.
After the store's employee gave him the cash he demanded, the suspect fled on foot, apparently heading to a grocery store at 21 Oak St. At 8:50 p.m., a report came in to police that a female working alone behind the register in the grocery store was threatened by a suspect fitting the exact same description. He threatened her with the shotgun and made off with all the cash in the register.
About two hours later, a Chinese restaurant at 369 21st Ave. reported that a suspect also fitting the same initial description pointed a gun at the male behind the register of the eatery and robbed the restaurant of cash from the register.
"All of these incidents were near each other, they happened close together (in time) and the suspect's description in each case makes it sound like the same guy," Barone said. "We have several detectives working on the case now."
Anyone with information on any of the Sunday night incidents can call (973) 321-1120.