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Suspected serial armed robber hits Tonawanda Dash's Market

Omar Fetouh

An armed man in a ski mask has been holding up businesses across Erie and Niagara counties, and the Town of Tonawanda’s Dash’s Market joined that list of businesses Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement officials believe this is the 12th armed robbery in a string of crimes over the past three weeks. Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Captain Bruce Elliott said his county fell victim first in the string of robberies.

“We got hit hard the following weekend we had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” said Elliott. “Our department got hit. In the Town of Niagara, Town of Wheatfield, and Town of Lockport. So we were kind of on it before the other surrounding agencies that we were dealing with the same person, and since then it has kind of moved onto the Erie county locations.”

Law enforcement officials say the robber, described as a white male wearing a black hoodie, has been linked by a similar M.O. As a result, nearly five law enforcement agencies are working together to bring the suspect to justice.

“We’re on it that one person committed these robberies. Obviously we can’t say that 100 percent,” said Elliott. “We’re operating on this theory that he’s at least linked to all these. But we don’t know for sure if someone else is involved.”

Elliott said that the public should stay vigilant if they spot suspicious activity, and to make sure to alert police and stay safe.

“If somebody looks suspicious, hanging around a store with a ski mask or wearing a lot of layers of clothing, I wouldn’t hesitate to call local police and have them checked out,” said Elliott.

Anyone with possible information on the suspect is asked to call the Town of Tonawanda Police non-emergency line at 716-876-5300.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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