Police investigating a beating and robbery outside a Mahwah company Tuesday night now believe four suspects followed their victim to several places before waiting for him in a Route 17 building, .
According to Chief Jim Batelli, police are investigating forensic evidence and surveillance video in an attempt to retrace the steps of masked men in a gold Nissan Altima who apparently chose their victim very carefully.
The victim is a 54-year-old employee of Paks Fast Service, which owns 24 gas and service stations in North Jersey, police said. Before the robbery, the man had gone to four or five gas stations owned by the company to collect cash to deliver to the its headquarters, located on the second floor of the Marron building on Route 17 South, Batelli said.
As the man traveled between the company’s stations in Mahwah and Elizabeth, police believe the gold Nissan, which did not have a front license plate, was following him, authorities said.
“Surveillance tapes have showed the same car at at least one Mahwah gas station where the victim was picking up money,” Batelli said Wednesday afternoon. “We are currently in Elizabeth looking for tapes and talking with witnesses to see if the car had followed him there, too.”
The car, which police believe had four men inside it, arrived at the Marron building about 40 minutes before the victim did, Batelli said. Two of the men went into the building and waited, possibly in a second floor bathroom, for the man to arrive, police said.
“We believe the suspects in the car alerted the ones in the building when the man arrived, because they went outside to the parking lot when he got there,” Batelli said. “There were no words exchanged and it all happened very quickly.”
The two men allegedly punched the man in the face several times, knocking him to the ground, and stole the bag he was carrying, police said. The bag had about $70,000 in proceeds from the stations the man had visited earlier in the day, police said. The two then got into the back seat of the gold Nissan and it sped down Route 17 South, police said.
The man received medical attention at the scene for minor injuries, and refused further medical treatment, Batelli said.
Police have released the following descriptions of the two men who attacked the Paks Fast employee:
Suspect One: About 5’11”, thin build, white male wearing a black hoodie and a mask
Suspect Two: About 5’8’’, male wearing blue jeans, a black sweatshirt with green sleeves, a mask and a red baseball cap with a gold sticker on it
Police say they are continuing the investigation into identifying and locating the suspects.