Niagara Gazette

June 27, 2013

Man pleads guilty to Craigslist robberies

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to six counts of second-degree robbery after a 13-day spree in which he used phony Craigslist advertisements to lure unsuspecting victims in the Town of Tonawanda, Amherst and Buffalo, the Erie County Attorney's Office announced. 

Between March 28 and April 9, Kendrick Pritchett, of Amherst Street, Buffalo, used to advertise fictitious items such as iPhones and iPads. Pritchett then met the online shoppers in the town, Amherst and Buffalo.

During the meetings, Pritchett displayed what appeared to be a handgun and forced the victims to turn over their cash and other property. Pritchett also assaulted one of the six victims, the attorney's office said.

The last victim quickly notified the Town of Tonawanda Police after the robbery, and authorities pursued Pritchett with the help of their K9 officer, Tank. The German shepherd bit Pritchett several times, and the suspect narrowly escaped into an occupied home. 

The homeowners called police when they heard noises coming from their basement, and patrolmen who reported to the scene apprehended Pritchett. 

According to police reports, Pritchett was arrested April 9 and charged with second-degree burglary, petit larceny, unlawful possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.

"The defendant was arrested because of their dogged pursuit and successfully prosecuted because of the thoroughness and professionalism of their investigation," District Attorney Frank Sedita said of the Buffalo and Town of Tonawanda police departments. 

Pritchett also pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with a June 18, 2012 armed robbery in Buffalo's west side.

During an alleged drug deal, Pritchett pointed a loaded gun at the victim and robbed him of marijuana. He was apprehended after a chase, and the handgun was linked to Pritchett through DNA evidence. 

But a Buffalo City Court Judge released Pritchett from custody after the victim failed to appear and testify at the preliminary hearing. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Michael Felicetta and Justin Wallens. 

Pritchett faces a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. before Judge Thomas Franczyk.