By Karen Zautyk
Police are hunting a gunman who attempted to rob Tullo’s Truck Stop in South Kearny last week and reportedly shot at a customer in the gas station.
Shortly after the incident, which occurred at 3:41 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, a man fitting the description of the suspect, along with his getaway driver, apparently were involved in two robberies in Newark, police said.
They are also linked to two similar heists in Jersey City. P
olice said all five incidents occurred in rapid succession, the last at 3:46 a.m.
Kearny Police Chief John Dowie said the men entered the station on the Lincoln Highway in a silver or gray Dodge Charger (similar to the one in the photo). The driver remained in the car while his passenger, armed with what appeared to be a silver automatic handgun, exited and approached a female cashier in one of the booths.
Security cameras captured the image of a black male wearing a gray hoodie, jeans and black-and-white sneakers. Covering his face was a white T-shirt.
Although threatened with the gun, the cashier did not hand over any cash. At that point, Dowie said, the robber turned his attention to a trucker at the pumps, who, police believe, also refused the demands for money.
The station attendant told police she heard the sound of gunshots, but the truck driver also fled the scene, so it is not known if he was hit.
Dowie said police have checked with area hospitals but none reported any gunshot cases. Hospitals are required by law to report them, he noted.
The Charger was last seen fleeing in the direction of Newark.
The KPD alerted surrounding communities of the incident and were advised of the similar robberies shortly before and after the Kearny crime. In at least one of those, shots were fired, Dowie said.
P.O. Jay Balogh of the KPD was the initial responding officer at the South Kearny scene, and Det. Michael Gonzalez is handling the follow-up investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kearny Detective Bureau at 201-998- 1313.