NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Authorities on Wednesday arrested a suspect in connection with at least 25 armed robberies in Queens and Long Island in recent weeks.
The FBI, NYPD and Nassau County Police questioned Khalif House, 24, of West Hempstead. Authorities later charged him with two dozen knife-point robberies in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens counties since March.
Police flooded the area around North Tyson Avenue at about 7 a.m. Wednesday after resident Bill O'Keefe discovered House sleeping on his couch. The suspect had allegedly broken into O'Keefe's home overnight. O'Keefe said he was stunned to see the man, who had been sleeping in his house while he was asleep upstairs. O'Keefe said the man took off running and went out the backdoor.
Police said House then hid in a nearby cellar door for a couple of hours. While cops searched for him, authorities notified schools to go on lockdown and sent emails to residents alerting them.
House then apparently emerged when he thought the coast was clear. But Floral Park Police tore open a wooden fence to get to him in the rear parking lot of a business.
Police said House had broken into O'Keefe's home because House's girlfriend was arrested Tuesday night and that she had been his getaway driver.
On Tuesday at about 10:15 p.m., the suspect attempted to steal money from a cash register at the Dollar Tree in College Point, Queens, but left empty-handed.
He had been on the run since March 1.
17 of the thefts have taken place on Long Island. They include Subway, Carvel and Dunkin Donuts.
His robberies in Queens have netted at least $3,000, according to police.
The FBI assisted local police in the search for the suspect, who appeared to target stores near major highways.
Witnesses said he fled the robbery scenes in a grey Honda.
Fox5NY.com staff contributed to this report.