Tonawanda store latest stop in recent robbery spree

Town of Tonawanda PoliceLocal police are seeking the public's help in identifying the man seen in this image. Police believe he may have been involved with a string of recent armed robberies in Niagara and Erie counties. 

TOWN OF TONAWANDA -- A bold bandit, on a robbery spree spanning Niagara and Erie counties, struck again on Wednesday.

Town of Tonawanda police say they are investigating an armed hold-up at a Colvin Boulevard supermarket at 6:45 a.m., the third robbery of its kind in the last three days.

The suspect, described as a middle-aged white male, wearing dark clothing and a black ski mask, held-up the Dash's Market, 1210 Colvin Blvd., approaching a cashier, displaying a gun and demanding cash.

Town police say the suspect was given an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the supermarket on foot. Officers said there were few, if any, customers in the store at the time of the robbery.

The suspect is now believed to be tied to a dozen armed robberies in Tonawanda, Kenmore, Amherst, Niagara Falls and three locations across Niagara County.

"Looking at the (security camera videos at the robbery locations), it appears it's the same individual," Niagara County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Bureau Capt. Bruce Elliott said. "It's a white male, he's always armed, the clothing descriptions match, he wears the black ski mask."

Elliott said his agency is investigating three robberies since the crime spree started on Feb. 25. 

"We got hit three times between March 2 and 4," Elliott said. 

The robber hit a Sunoco gas station on Packard Road in the Town of Niagara, another Sunoco on Transit Road in the Town of Lockport and Matty's Food Mart, on Forest Parkway in the Town of Wheatfield.

"We believe it's the same guy in all of these robberies," Elliott said. "In all of ours, it's the same guy."

The Dash's robbery is the third in the Town of Tonawanda in as many days. On Monday, town police responded to a pair of similar armed robberies at gas stations on Niagara Falls Boulevard and Delaware Avenue.

The robbery at Dash's led to a lockdown of Kenmore West High School for more than an hour.

Elliott says law enforcement agencies in all the affected jurisdictions have stepped up patrols around gas stations, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Anyone who may recognize the suspect or may have information about the robberies is asked to contact the Niagara County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Bureau at 438-3327