Wantagh Gas Station Robbed


A man and woman were charged in connection with a robbery that occurred in Wantagh on August 22.

Police say at 8:40 p.m. a 34-year-old male cashier working at the American Gas Station located at 3287 Merrick Road observed John P. Vitali, 20, and Rachel  Recht, 19, both of Wantagh, enter into the store.

After a brief conversation Recht exited the store and waited outside as Vitali approached the cashier with one hand in his jacket and demanded money from the register, according to police. The victim backed away and Vitali reached into the register and removed an unknown amount of cash, according to police.

Both defendants then fled on foot north on Beech Drive, police say. An extensive search was conducted by Seventh Precinct Police Officers, Nassau County Police Canine Unit, Nassau County Air Bureau, and Officers from the Nassau County Bureau of Special Operations Unit. A short time later Bureau of Special Operations Officers observed the defendants on Beech Street riding as rear passengers in a taxi cab. A car stop was made and both defendants were placed into custody without incident.

Police say Vitali was found to be in possession of 19 packs of a brownish powder believed to be heroin. There were no injuries reported. The proceeds were recovered. No weapons were displayed.

John P. Vital is charged with Robbery 2nd Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree. Rachel Recht is charged with Robbery 2nd Degree.