Armed Robber Hits Garrison Gas Station

Shows revolver and demands cash at Gulf

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department said it was searching for an armed man who robbed the Gulf gas station on Route 9D across a narrow lane from the Garrison School.

Saif Saleem, who was filling in for his cousin, station manager Eelaaf Najam, said he had opened the Gulf at 1122 Route 9D at 7 a.m. on on Sunday (Feb. 13). Thirty minutes later, a white male wearing a face covering entered, grabbed a Red Bull energy drink from a cooler in the rear of the store and approached the register.

The suspect asked for the price of the Red Bull, and when told, said, “Give me all the money you have in the register,’ ” according to Saleem. “I was like, ‘Are you joking or are you serious?,’ because it didn’t sound serious. Then he pulls out a gun,” he said.

Garrison robbery suspect

A security camera photo of the suspect

Saleem said that after he emptied the register and handed over the money, the suspect threw him a zip tie and ordered him to bind his hands together, pulling the tie tight with his mouth. As the suspect left, on foot, heading north on Route 9D, he said, “If I have to come back here, then I will shoot you and kill you,” according to Saleem.

After using scissors to cut the zip tie and free his hands, Saleem called 911. “I thought he was going to shoot me,” he said.

Najam, who lives across Route 9D from the station, normally would have opened the station, but the Garrison volunteer firefighter had a scheduled training on Sunday. With the training canceled because of snow, he was home when the robbery occurred and rushed over as deputies and state police troopers arrived.

His biggest concern, he said, was Saleem’s safety. “Everything’s replaceable, except for a life,” he said.

Anyone who saw pedestrians or vehicles in the area at the time of the robbery or before dawn, or has video footage of Route 9D near the gas station or Snake Hill Road, is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 845-225-4300.

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