Duo charged in Hempstead robbery spree


Nassau County police arrested two men last Tuesday for a string of 11 robberies that had occurred in Hempstead since last September.

In a joint investigation by the Nassau County Robbery Squad, Third Squad detectives, and Hempstead Police Department, Gerald Brown, 26, of Roosevelt, and Nicholas McNeil, 26, of Hempstead, were arrested on Feb. 4 after holding up nine Hempstead businesses multiple times, either together or alone.

According to officials, Brown and McNeil first robbed the Sunoco gas station on Peninsula Boulevard at 8:50 p.m. Sept. 23. The pair robbed that gas station again at 10:35 p.m. on Nov. 19.

The men also robbed a Dunkin’ Donuts on 579 Peninsula Boulevard together at 7:07 p.m. on Oct. 22. McNeil later robbed that store again on Nov. 29 at 6 p.m., after which Brown robbed it alone on Dec. 4 at 7:40 p.m., police said.

Both men robbed the Village Express Deli on South Franklin Street three times, police said, from Oct. 24 at 12:45 a.m., to Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. and Feb. 3 at 11:39 a.m.

The duo also robbed a Mobil gas station on Peninsula Boulevard on Nov. 12 at 12:05 a.m., the GameStop store on Fulton Avenue on Dec. 2 at 7:45 p.m. and the Citgo gas station on Baldwin Road on Dec. 9 at 9:41 p.m., police said.

According to officials, Brown and McNeil displayed a handgun or handguns in the robberies, in which they mostly stole cash, though police said robberies cell phones also were taken in some of the robberies.

Both men were charged with 10 counts of first-degree robbery and arraigned last week in First District Court in Hempstead. McNeil, who was arraigned on Feb. 5, was remanded and is due back in court Friday, while Brown, who was arraigned on Feb. 6 and pleaded not guilty, was ordered held without bail and is due back in court Feb. 10 in Mineola.