A Lake Ronkonkoma Carvel was robbed at knifepoint this past weekend, Newsday reports. Officials say that there is currently no evidence to suggest that this robbery is related to a string of robberies perpetrated by a mask-wearing, machete-weilding man who has terrorized Carvels and Subways over the past several weeks.

The situation has escalated and a Carvel spokesperson released a statement to Newsday regarding the situation and reassured franchise owners, employees, customers and the community that “the safety of our franchisees, their employees, and customers is paramount.”

A retired law enforcement office who wishes to remain nameless, believes that the suspect fits the description of a drug addict. “In my experience, someone robbing a place for small amounts of money is looking for a last resort option to fund addiction,” he said. Although employees describe their encounters with the man to not be violent, he also added that this could change if the man is under the influence when he strikes next.

One employee quit after pressure from his parents. Peter, 17, of Plainview said that his mom refused to drive him to work out of fear that his store may be next on the list. “She basically forced me to quit. I think she is overreacting,” he said. Peter quit traded in the ice cream scoop for a blender as he is now working at a smoothie shop up the road. “The guy has his eye on Carvels, so Mom thinks I should be safe here,” he said.

Several employees at a Bethpage Carvel have since withdrawn their applications in light of recent events. “It doesn’t seem likely that he will come in, but I don’t want to chance it,” said Katelin, age 16. “The owner was really understanding when I told him the situation, and offered to hire me once this is all over” she ensured.

“I’m not nervous at work. I’ve discussed it with other employees and my boss what to do in the situation,” said Jamie. She has been working at a Carvel for the past thirteen months, and considers the shop to be a “second home.” She does not feel threatened by the notion of a potential heist. “I’m more nervous about Free Cone Day at the end of the month.”

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