Niagara Gazette

Courts

June 5, 2014

Suspects take plea in robbery of pawn shop owner

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A pair of Falls men have pleaded guilty to the bold home invasion hold-up of a Pine Avenue pawn shop owner.

Edwin “Shorty” Ridgeway and Robert James Thornton each pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted first-degree robbery. Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas agreed that she would sentence Thorton to no more than 10 years in prison and cap Ridgeway’s time behind bars at 12 years.

The difference in the sentences stems from a prior violent felony conviction for Ridgeway.

Falls police had responded to a call, at around 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 28, from the owner of Casino Buy & Sell saying he had been robbed and assaulted. The victim said three black males, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts and armed with handguns and a machete, had staged the attack.

As officers closed in on the crime scene in the 2000 block of Pine Avenue, they spotted the three suspects running just a few blocks away on 20th Street.

Officer Todd Faddoul and Lt. Michael Corcoran collared the first suspect in the 1800 block of Pierce Avenue. Officers David Wyluki, Josh Miller and Joseph Scabilia caught up with a second suspect in the 1800 block of Willow Avenue.

The third suspect was able to escape from police.

The suspects were Ridgeway, 26, 140 East Ave., Lockport, and Thornton, 24, 1026 Cleveland Ave.

Both Ridgeway and Thornton had property taken from the pawn shop in their possession when police took them into custody. Both men also were carrying BB guns, which investigators said looked like real firearms.

Police have still been unable to identify or arrest the third suspect in the hold-up.

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