11/22/13 1:54pm
11/22/2013 1:54 PM
Paul Tromblee

Paul Tromblee

A 35-year-old Manorville man accused of pulling off 10 armed robberies in Suffolk County, including one in Calverton and one Mattituck, was doing so to support a heroin addiction, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Paul Tromblee pleaded not guilty in county criminal court Friday to nine counts of first-degree armed robbery and one count of third-degree robbery. He was then held on $250,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond by Suffolk County Court Judge John Iliou.

Mr. Tromblee is accused of displaying a firearm and demanding money from clerks in 10 different robberies from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 to get money to support a heroin addiction, said assistant district attorney Tisha Burrows, the prosecutor assigned to the case.

“He admitted that orally and in writing,” Ms. Burrows told a reporter outside the courtroom following Mr. Tromblee’s arraignment on the indictment, which was handed up by a grand jury on Monday.

Mr. Tromblee, who has been in custody since his Nov. 9 arrest, wore green pants and a green T-shirt in court, exposing a sleeve tattoo on his right arm.

A number of his relatives were present, although none spoke in court or afterward when asked for comment by a reporter.

“After having met with many of his family members, I would say the allegations are out of character for Mr. Tromblee,” said Steve Politi, Mr. Tromblee’s attorney. He said there also are about a dozen character-reference letters supporting Mr. Tromblee from people outside his family.

“He has no criminal convictions,” Mr. Politi said of his client. “He’s a dad. He has an 8-year-old boy and he’s very loved by his family.”

Ms. Burrows said Mr. Tromblee began a pattern of robberies starting last month at small stores in which he would walk up to the counter and pretend to buy something, like a bottle of water or a beverage. When the clerk would open the register to make change, he would display a gun and demand money, often asking the clerk to lift up the register draw to make sure there was no money left under it, she said.

Many of the robberies were caught on surveillance videos, she said.

In an interview outside the courtroom, Ms. Burrows said Mr. Tromblee admitted to using a BB gun in the robberies, although no weapon has been recovered. She said whether he had a BB gun or a real gun would not affect the charge of first-degree robbery because he allegedly said during the robberies that he had a gun.

Judge Iliou said he believed the $250,000 bail demanded by the prosecutor was low, and he said that given the amount of Upstate jail time Mr. Tromblee potentially faces on these charges (25 years), and the allegation that he was doing the robberies to support a heroin addiction, he felt Mr. Tromblee did present a flight risk.

He then approved the $250,000 cash bail and $500,000 bond amounts, and set a return court date of Dec. 18.

Mr. Tromblee also faces a separate charge of possession of a hypodermic instrument, stemming from a Nov. 9 arrest by Suffolk County police in regard to an Oct. 30 incident.

The robberies occurred at gas stations in Calverton, Mastic, North Babylon, St. James, Dix Hills, and Bohemia, as well as Jamba Juice in Stony Brook, Kissed by the Sun Tanning in Islip, CVS Pharmacy in Lake Ronkonkoma, and Game Stop in Mattituck.

The Calverton robbery was at the Hess station by the LIE entrance ramp off Nugent Drive.

tgannon@timesreview.com

11/11/13 10:42am
11/11/2013 10:42 AM
PAUL TROMBLEE

PAUL TROMBLEE

A Manorville man who police say is responsible for a string of robberies across Suffolk County – including one at a Hess gas station in Calverton – remains held on $100,000 cash bail and is due back in court on Friday.

Paul Tromblee, 35, was arrested on Saturday and was seen in First District Court in Central Islip on Sunday.

Online court records indicate that Tromblee is being held on $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail. Currently, Mr. Tromblee stands charged with eight counts of first-degree robbery and one count of third-degree robbery.

The Hess gas station — located on Edwards Avenue, barely in the jurisdiction of the SCPD – was robbed Oct. 30, after a man pulled a handgun on a store clerk, demanding cash from the register about 7:45 p.m.

Since Oct. 26, gas stations in Calverton, Mastic, North Babylon, St. James, Dix Hills, and Bohemia as well as Jamba Juice in Stony Brook, Kissed by the Sun Tanning in Islip, and CVS Pharmacy in Lake Ronkonkoma were robbed by an armed suspect who demanded cash after pretending to purchase merchandise, police said. Utilizing video surveillance as well as tips, including information received via Crime Stoppers, Pattern Crime Unit detectives identified the suspect as Mr. Tromblee. He was located by detectives while driving on Sunrise Highway in Brookhaven around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Southold Police announced shortly after the Mattituck GameStop robbery that a link between the incident and the others further west were likely evident.

Mohammed Kahn, the clerk at the Calverton Hess, told the News-Review on the night of the incident that the robber walked straight up to the register and demanded cash, first giving him the impression that the act was a trick.

“I was looking to him like he was joking,” Mr. Kahn said at the time.

Detectives are continuing to investigate if Mr. Tromblee is responsible for similar incidents that occurred recently. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. Police said all calls will remain confidential.

jpinciaro@timesreview.com