Manhattan bodega murder suspect linked to 3 other robberies: NYPD
NEW YORK - The NYPD is still on the hunt for the masked gunman accused of shooting and killing a 67-year-old bodega employee on the Upper East Side last week during a robbery.
Police say they have connected the suspect to three other robberies in the Bronx and Brooklyn and in each instance, the suspect's face was covered, prompting city officials to call on customers to remove their masks before entering a bodega or deli.
RELATED: Masked gunman kills bodega worker in Upper East Side deli
"As a sign of a peace offering, a sign of safety to those store workers, when we walk in, we should take down our masks," said Jeffrey Maddrey, NYPD Chief of Department. "We should let them know that they're not in any danger, any harm—that we're customers."
"We are putting out a clear call to all of our shops, do not allow people to enter the store without taking off their face mask," said Mayor Eric Adams during an interview with 1010 WINS.
The NYPD has released surveillance photos of the suspect wanted for allegedly murdering a bodega worker on the Upper East Side Friday night. (Credit: NYPD)
Fernando Matteo of the United Bodegas of America said that he would encourage cab drivers to do the same, for similar reasons of safety.
Mask-wearing New Yorkers in the Upper East Side were split on the idea of taking off their masks.
"I mean at the end of the day if you don't have nothing to hide," said Bronx resident Nestor Osiris, "[It’s] just doing what they're asking you to do for the safety of others."
"I can why they want that, but still for my own security, I still prefer to wear a mask," said Bronx resident Sandy Semprit. "It’s really a hard decision."
Police are offering a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.