Authorities charged Robert Coston (pictured) with holding up five businesses in Brooklyn 12 times between October and November 2012. According to officials, Coston robbed a Park Slope Tasti-D-Lite three times, a laundromat two times, a dry cleaning place in Prospect Heights neighborhood three times and a few Subway restaurants. Per NBC New York, he also robbed a Blue Marble Ice Cream Restaurant.
Watch a news report about Coston’s robberies here:
Shortly after his arrest, Coston reportedly told officers he committed the robberies to support his kids.
“My sons are in college,” he said. “I was looking for work. I couldn’t find work. I’m very sorry for what I did, though.” The owner of the Tasti-D-Lite corroborated this story, saying Coston appeared “very calm” while holding him up.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry. I hate to do this. I have a family to feed,’” Mayer Levy said.
A clerk in one of the Subway restaurants managed to escape by locking himself in a closet, officials added. Brooklyn D.A. Kenneth Thompson said Coston’s long sentence is to deter others.
“The long prison time he now faces sends a clear message that those who would disrupt the safety of our communities will pay dearly for their crimes,” Thompson said.
Coston has a rap sheet including arrests for grand larceny, drug possession, assault, menacing and robbery.