Armed Robber Makes Off with Sweet Loot from Carvel

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A local ice cream store was robbed last week and we’ve got the scoop. An alleged Fudgie the Whale Bandit, brandishing a gun, pulled off a heist at Beach 116th Street’s Carvel in broad daylight on a winter Friday afternoon.

A suspect decided to shake things up shortly after Carvel opened on Friday, March 9. According to owner Paul Guarneri, just after noon, a man walked in and ordered a milkshake from the general manager, who was the only employee in the store at the time. “He ordered a shake from her and it seemed like a normal transaction. She started to ring him up for the shake and he simply pulled out a gun and placed it on the counter and calmly asked for the money in the register,” Guarneri said. “The whole thing is on video. I don’t think our manager realized what was happening at first. She was caught off guard. But she opened the cash drawer and gave him what was in there.”

According to the NYPD, the suspect is a black male in his 50s who got away with roughly $400 before fleeing on foot.  The NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information, did not provide an identity to The Rockaway Times. According to Guarneri, after the suspect walked out of the store, the manager locked the door before calling police, who arrived quickly, but the suspect had gotten away before cops could tell him to freeze. 

However the suspect may have already been on a rocky road as he had robbed another store in Brooklyn earlier that morning. Police were able to identify him quickly and began a search of a building on Beach 115th Street, where it was believed the suspect had barricaded himself. Unfortunately, the suspect was not in the building and as far as Guarneri knows, he’s still on the loose.

By that evening, Carvel was back open for business and the general manager who was in the store, has since returned to work. “She handled it really well,” Guarneri said.

Despite the alarming circumstances, with no one being hurt, Guarneri was able to have some good humor about the whole situation.

“This was the crime of the century,” Guarneri joked. “I mean, it wasn’t well thought out. This was foolish on his part. It was a weekday afternoon, in broad daylight and he targeted an ice cream store in the middle of winter. It wasn’t the smartest idea and it didn’t take long for the police to figure it out and it’s only a matter of time until he pops up and they find him.” And when they do, hopefully justice will be soft served.

Despite the suspect’s poor planning, Guarneri hopes more can be done to keep the block safe. Less than two years ago, in May 2016, another Beach 116th Street business, retail shop Lola Star, was also hit by a robber who had a knife. Shortly after that robbery, police presence increased and Guarneri hopes it returns. “After Lola’s incident, she held a bunch of meetings and there was police presence on the block for a while, but it didn’t last. We were told that the NYPD doesn’t have it in their budget to keep something like that going. But in light of this recent incident, it would be nice to see some regular police presence again.”

Yet Guarneri is optimistic for the future of Beach 116th. “There are positive things going on here and a lot of new development coming. We’re not gonna let this robbery deter us from staying open for business and having a great summer and season,” he said. All are encouraged to pay Carvel a visit and show some support. After all, spring is right around the corner.

What ever happened to the shake that the suspect ordered? That’s the cherry on top. “He took his shake, too,” Guarneri said.

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