NYPD: Ice cream bandit is behind bars

NYPD: Ice cream bandit is behind bars
Photo by Paul Martinka

The ice cream bandit is headed to the cooler.

Police cuffed a man accused of knocking off at least 10 Brooklyn ice cream shops, sandwich joints, and salons at gunpoint — including three visits to a Tasti-D-Lite and two stops at a hairdresser, both in Park Slope.

Officers say the 47-year-old suspect identified as Robert Coston repeatedly entered businesses, whipped out a gun, and demanded money in a series of robberies throughout October and November.

Investigators apprehended the suspect at an East New York motel last Friday after police received an anonymous tip about the serial bandit.

The looting spree began when a gunman hit the Tasti-D-Lite on Seventh Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets on Oct. 17. He followed that up with more heists at the shop on Oct. 26, and again on Nov. 4, according to cops.

But he also hit other dessert destinations, targeting the Blue Marble ice cream shop on Court Street between Congress and Wyckoff streets in Cobble Hill on Oct. 22.

As the weather cooled, the perp made the switch from creameries to eateries, cops say.

The suspect allegedly held up two Subway sandwich shops, one on Atlantic Avenue between Court Street and Boerum Place on Oct. 28 and another on Fulton Street between St. Felix Street and Fort Greene Place on Oct. 30.

In the midst of the spree, the bandit also hit at least one salon.

Law enforcement officials say Coston robbed a Seventh Avenue hair care joint between 13th and 14th streets on Oct. 26 and again on Oct. 31.

Police reported a total of 12 stick-ups, but as of Monday the suspect has been charged with 10 counts of robbery. The two additional charges are pending, cops said.

Coston is homeless according to the New York Post, and allegedly claimed he resorted to crime to help pay his children’s college tuition.

“My sons are in college,” he told the tabloid during his perp walk. “I was looking for work. I couldn’t find work. I’m very sorry for what I did, though.”