String of robberies in Broome, victim speaks out

By Erika Mahoney

January 7, 2014 Updated Jan 7, 2014 at 7:52 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Local police agencies are busy investigating multiple store robberies in the Broome County area.

Over the past few months, there has been at least one robbery a week. Broome County Sheriff David Harder said there's been 16 armed robberies recently, which is more than usual.

"We are not sure the pattern yet, we're still trying to work out details, whether it's one person or a couple of copycats," Harder said.

It's a frightening experience for those behind the counter, like Bryce Honken, who is the night manager at Leroy Package Store.

The liquor store got hit in early December and Honken came face to face with the robber.

"You always have this in your mind, what am I going to do, what am I going to do, but you don't do it, you just stand there like, ok..." Honken said. "So you give him what he's looking for, and then he's gone, within a minute"

Honken said the armed robber struck during their busiest time of the week., Friday night.

"When he came in I thought it was a regular customer playing a stupid joke, and I was about ready to say, dude, take off your stuff. But then, when I saw the bag... ok, not a regular customer."

Honken said the robber was wearing sunglasses and a mask and showed him and his co-worker what appeared to be a handgun.

"Only time he said something was, 'give me the money.'"

Honken said the robber threw a bag on the counter and his co-worker handed over the money.

And that's exactly what Harder says you should do if you're robbed.

"Just obey the orders of the person that is robbing you. For the couple $300 they are getting from you, it's not worth your life."

Harder said it's also important to invest in a good security system.

One of the security measures a local Mirabito uses is a doorbell system. Anytime a customer comes in, employees are alerted and made aware of who is coming in.

"I wouldn't say we're concerned, I'd say we try to be prepared," Mirabito Manager Mike Reed said.

Meanwhile, Harder said the sheriff's office is teaming up with local police agencies to try and find the suspect and/ or suspects.

If anyone has information on the robberies, call the sheriff's office at (607)778-1911.