Police: Thrift store employees overpowered robber with shotgun

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CENTEREACH -

Suffolk police say the employees of a Centereach thrift store banded together and subdued a would-be robber who was armed with a shotgun.

Police say the suspect, 45-year-old Ronald J. Kelly, entered Island Thrift on Middle Country Road shortly before 8:30 p.m. Saturday. They say he pointed a shotgun at the store manager and the shop's five other employees, demanding cash.

That's when the store manager, a woman, grabbed the shotgun from Kelly, police say. Two other employees joined the struggle, gained control of the shotgun, and wrestled Kelly to the ground, holding him until officers responded.

Kelly, of Holtsville, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, police say. He was arrested and is charged with first-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

None of the thrift store employees were injured, police say. The owner of the store tells News 12 that the workers are now resting at home.

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