Today’s news:

Robber in Bayside steals merchandise from Radio Shack

Police said they were still searching for a man who robbed a Bayside Radio Shack on Bell Boulevard last week, making off with several hundred dollars worth of merchandise.

The robber, who appeared to be in his late 20s and was estimated to be 6 feet tall, entered the Radio Shack around 6 p.m. Oct. 26 and told a manager at the store that he was searching for a Samsung television, a source familiar with the incident said.

The man, who was armed with a gun and a box cutter, told the manager that he would walk around the store and place items in his bag, the source said. He warned the manager not to call the police, the source said.

“He said, ‘I’m going through a struggle right now and I’m willing to die for my family,’” the source said.

The robber lifted his shirt to show that he had a gun and used a box cutter to remove merchandise from packages.

No arrests had been made in the incident as of Tuesday, but the robber was caught on camera by the store’s video surveillance. The man stole an estimated $400 in merchandise, including a number of Blue Tube headsets, but did not take any cash from the store, the source said.

Bayside residents and workers said robberies on Bell Boulevard are rare but occasionally take place along the commercial strip.

“I’m surprised this happened in the middle of the day, but I’m not surprised it happened,” longtime Bayside resident Olga Ross said. “These are hard times with the economy and the holidays are coming up.”

Ross said she saw police cars lined up along the block following the robbery last week.

Anton Kolinger, who works at Brian Dempsey’s American Ale House on Bell Boulevard, said he has lived and worked in the community for years and that it has primarily been a safe community.

“It’s a real shocker,” he said of the robbery. “This brings down the neighborhood.”

A spokesman for the 111th Precinct said police were searching for a Hispanic male of an unknown age in the incident.

To report any information on the robbery, contact the precinct at 718-279-5200 or call the city’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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