Niagara Falls police have arrested a man they believe used plastic and paper bags to disguise his identity while committing a series of armed robberies, including one at a 7-11 convenience store on Pine Avenue earlier this week.
The accused robber, identified by police as 29-year-old Andrew J. Patterson of the Falls, was taken into custody at around 9 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 400 block of 19th Street.
Police have charged Patterson with one count of attempted robbery in the first degree, resisting arrest and a parole detainer. Patterson is scheduled to arraigned on Thursday in Niagara Falls City Court. Police said Patterson could face more charges as the investigation continues.
The series of robberies happened over a 13-hour period and appear to involve the same lone suspect.
The robbery spree started around 11 a.m. Monday, when a male suspect entered the Sunoco Mini-Mart in the 500 block of Main Street. A store clerk and other witnesses told police the suspect was a white male, “very small” in both height and build.
He was last seen wearing khaki pants, an orange shirt and a winter hat. He had a plastic shopping bag covering the lower portion of his face, a bag over his right hand, which was holding an unidentified object, and plastic bags over his shoes.
Witnesses said the suspect fled down Fourth Street toward Walnut Avenue. He made off with $300 and two packs of Newport 100 cigarettes.
Around 8:30 p.m., the suspect struck again at the 7-Eleven store in the 2800 block of Pine Avenue. Witnesses provided police with a similar description of the man, but this time he was wearing a green paper shopping bag over his head with holes cut out for eyes.
He also had a plastic bag over his right hand, while holding an unidentified object, a plastic bag covering his torso and bags covering his shoes. The store clerk, who could see the suspect did not have a gun, came around the front counter and confronted the suspect.
The would-be robber ran from the store, empty-handed, and went down the alley behind the store toward 28th Street.
The last robbery occurred at midnight at Frankie’s Donuts in the 700 block of Portage Road. This time, the suspect appeared with a dark hoodie, tied tight and covering most of his face.
The hoodie had the word MAXX printed on it. He was also wearing light-colored jeans and a plastic bag over his right hand covering an item the clerk believed to be a handgun.
The suspect got away with $390 and ran north after leaving the store.
Falls detectives, the U.S. Marshals Task Force and members of the patrol division conducted a search for the suspect and police said he was observed on Wednesday in the 400 block of 19th Street. Police said as detectives Daniel Dobrasz and Shaun Bielec approached the suspect, he fled on foot. After a short foot chase and violent struggle, the suspect was placed under arrest. Neither the suspect nor police officers suffered any serious injuries.