Serial knifepoint robbery suspect blames drug addiction

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The man who allegedly eluded police during his string of 18 knifepoint robberies in Nassau and Suffolk was arrested in Huntington Station Monday night.

Unmasked and in handcuffs, Suffolk police say 30-year-old Shane Cashmore was the man behind the robberies of small businesses, namely Subway restaurants and Carvel ice cream shops. Cashmore said on the way to court that he did it all for drug money.

"I'm a heroin addict," he told waiting reporters.

He also said "I'm sorry" to his victims.

Police say they took Cashmore into custody right after he robbed a Carvel in Huntington Station Monday night. Police also arrested alleged accomplices Julianna Pantaleone and Paul Drab in a getaway car a block away, they say.

Authorities say that car, a gray 2006 Hyundai Tiburon, was key to their investigation. The car was seen at some of the robberies and was unique – only about 200 are registered in the Long Island area.

Police say they tracked down each car until they found the matching one.

"We followed this car when the suspect dropped off his girlfriend at work. We followed the car to New York City on multiple occasions, and we left no stone unturned as we went through this investigation," says acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.

Cashmore is charged with 18 counts of felony robbery. After his arraignment in Central Islip Tuesday, his attorney Christopher Gloe said police arrested the wrong person.

"There is absolutely nothing in the paperwork that I have been provided that identifies him as the perpetrator," says Gloe.

Even though the robber's face was covered in many of the security videos, prosecutors say Cashmore confessed to detectives. Assistant District Attorney James Chalifoux says Cashmore had the proceeds from Monday's robbery on his person, as well as the knife he used.

Nassau and Suffolk police say their success in stopping these robberies is a testament to the close relationship between the two departments.

"Once again, our collaboration has resulted in the closure of a major case," says Suffolk Commissioner Tim Sini.

Cashmore is being held on $1.6 million bond. If found guilty, he faces up to 25 years in prison on each of the 18 robbery charges.

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