by Eden Laikin
Two rookie Nassau police officers were recognized – and presented with citations – by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano for their apprehension of an armed robber who hit four businesses in Bellmore and Merrick in a six-hour span.
First Precinct Officer Ronald Curaba, a cop for a year, and Seventh Precinct Officer Joseph Laundrie, who just graduated from the police academy (May 31st) and was working his first shift at the time of the robberies. They were among several officers who flooded the area in response to the heists.
The robbery suspect was armed with a loaded 9-mm handgun, and arrested after a brief chase and scuffle with the officers for stealing at least $2,657 in cash from the businesses beginning Sunday, June 5th and into early Monday, June 6th. Twice, Jerrod Rollerson of Hempstead struck the same Valero gas station on Sunrise Hwy in Bellmore. He then struck a BP gas station on Merrick Road in Bellmore and a 7-Eleven on Merrick Rd. in Merrick.
Curaba spotted Rollerson, who fled on foot, so Curaba took off running after him, police said. After a short foot pursuit, Curaba and Laundrie tackled the subject. He resisted arrest.
Rollerson had a pending federal charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana from 2015 and was arrested May 28th and was out on bail after being charged with 3rd degree assault and criminal mischief. He is now also charged with 3 of the 4 robberies from June 5th & 6th.