At a time when some are wearing surgical masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus, two armed robbers used the protective gear while stealing $250,000 in cash from Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens over the weekend, police reported.
The NYPD released on Tuesday images and video of the masked men behind the March 7 caper, which took place at about 9:45 p.m. at the thoroughbred race course located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park.
According to law enforcement sources, the dastardly duo confronted three male employees who were in the process of transporting the $250,000 purse, within a duffel bag, to a secured room in the Aqueduct clubhouse.
Cops said the crooks displayed firearms and ordered the employees to lie down on the floor. They then grabbed the duffel bag along with the victims’ cellphones and a two-way radio.
Authorities said the perpetrators then ordered the three employees to get up and forced them into a small room nearby. They then ordered the employees to count to 1,000 as they ran out of the location in an unknown direction.
The incident was reported to the 106th Precinct; no injuries were reported.
Police described both suspects as black men standing about 6 feet tall. One of them is believed to weigh between 200 and 240 pounds, and was last seen wearing black sunglasses, a white surgical mask over his face, a black cap, a black hooded sweater, camouflage pants and black boots. He also carried a large black duffel bag.
The second perpetrator, police said, also wore a white surgical mask over his face, along with a dark colored baseball cap, a black hooded coat, blue jeans and black shoes.
The security video shows the pair walking into a racetrack lobby without wearing masks, and leaving it moments later while wearing surgical masks and toting the stolen dough.
Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.