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Robbers hit bank, store in two days

By Janice L. Habuda
September 02, 2009, 7:08 AM /

Robbers have struck twice in two days at businesses near Grand Island’s main crossroads.

Tuesday morning, the target was the First Niagara Bank branch at 2435 Grand Island Blvd.

State police based at Lewiston said a man wearing a large pair of white-rimmed sunglasses walked in at about 11:25 a. m. and demanded money from a teller without showing any weapon. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

An Erie County sheriff’s helicopter and several K-9 units that were training in the area began searching for the man, State Police Sgt. Philip Bourque said.

State police have photos of the robber, described as white, about 6 feet tall with a medium build, and in his mid-to late-20s. He was wearing blue jeans, white sneakers, a gray baseball cap and a long-sleeved shirt, according to police reports.

Early Monday, a Noco convenience store at 1898 Whitehaven Road was robbed by a man bearing what appeared to be a gun, Erie County sheriff’s deputies said.

That robbery occurred at about 2:20 a. m., when the robber — his face concealed by a dark bandanna — ordered a clerk to turn over the money in the cash register. He fled with an undisclosed amount.

The robber was described as white and in his late 30s, deputies said. He was wearing a green or teal shirt over a dark hoodie.

The robbery was discovered when a deputy on patrol didn’t see an employee visible in the store. He also noticed the cash register was open and empty.

Searching the store, the deputy found the clerk had locked herself in a storeroom.

Investigators from the two agencies could not be reached to comment on a possible connection between the two robberies.