Staff at NYC deli hit by hazmat-clad robber too scared to work

The owner of a Bronx bodega hit by a hazmat-clad gunman said his employees are so terrified they’re refusing to come to work — forcing him to put his own son behind the register.

Muaeen Anqasm, who owns YaYa Deli & Grill in Melrose, said the masked suspect — who is believed to have shot and killed a deli worker during a chilling 10-day spree — has left him and his workers terrified.

“Everyone here is scared,” Anqasm, 30, told The Post on Sunday.

“This guy said he’ll come back,” he said. “Even if they catch him, maybe he’ll be out in a month. This guy’s got to be in jail. He will kill for $20. He doesn’t care.”

Police say the covered-up crook robbed a 42-year-old worker at the YaYa Deli & Grill at gunpoint and swiped $1,000 worth of cash and merchandise shortly after midnight on Saturday.

He’s believed to be the same gunman who late Friday had stormed into Daona Gourmet Deli on the Upper East Side and shot a worker in the head, according to police sources.

Muaeen Anqasm, 30, owner of YaYa Deli & Grill in the Bronx.
Muaeen Anqasm, 30, owner of YaYa Deli & Grill in the Bronx, said the hazmat-clad serial robber who hit his store has left workers too frighted to come to work.
Tomas E. Gaston

No arrests had been made as of Sunday.

Now, Anqasm said his employee who mans the counter for the early shift didn’t show up Sunday morning, saying he feared for his life.

“He said he’s not coming back. It’s not worth it for him to be killed,” Anqasm told The Post.

Surveillance footage of the robber
The masked suspect is believed to have shot and killed a deli worker during a chilling 10-day spree.

“I had to bring my oldest child, my son, 14-year-old, to work, to be on the register,” the dad of five added.

Police sources say the spree began in Brooklyn on Feb. 25, when the serial robber hit a local store there — and struck again in Greenpoint wearing a Tyvek suit on March 1.

It turned deadly on Friday at around 11:30 p.m. when he forced a customer to the ground at Daona Gourmet Deli on East 81st Street and Third Avenue and pistol-whipped the 67-year-old employee manning the counter, fatally shooting him before fleeing.

Surveillance video caught the suspect hopping on a moped and racing off.

But he wasn’t done, then apparently hitting up the YaYa Deli in The Bronx some 30 minutes later, according to the sources.

“He will kill someone who has a wife and children and he doesn’t care,” Anqasm said of the suspect.

“What can I do? I have children, I have bills to pay. I cannot stay closed.”

YaYa Deli & Grill in the Melrose section of the Bronx.
YaYa Deli & Grill is one of four Big Apple stores police believe were robbed by the same hazmat-clad gunman, whose 10-day spree left one Manhattan worker dead.
Tomas E. Gaston

Meanwhile, Daona deli, where the worker was killed, remained closed on Sunday.

United Bodegas of America, which represents stores throughout the city, has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the killer’s arrest.

“We must put an end to these brutal assaults on our bodega owners,” Radahmes Rodriguez, who heads the group, said Saturday.

“These criminals must be taken off our streets and punished,” he said.