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October 4, 2013 - 10:54am

Armed robbery at Tops in Le Roy

posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy.

Photo courtesy of Alecia Kaus.

An armed robbery just occurred at Tops Market in Le Roy, located at 128 W. Main St. A black male wearing glasses, tan pants and black windbreaker allegedly displayed a handgun at the service desk, took an unknown amount of cash, then fled on foot toward the Sunoco Gas Station. Police on scene say no one matching that description could be found by the gas station. Six units are responding.

UPDATE 10:59 a.m.: "He ran east to the back of the 'pod mall,' came around front, then ran westbound from the pod mall," clarifies an officer. Another says "we haven't seen him to this point, it's likely he got into a vehicle." They are going to deploy a State Police helicopter, if available.

UPDATE 11:02 a.m.: The helicopter is going airborne. The Tops incident is a county-wide alert.

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.:  The suspect is further described as a being in his 30s, wearing a black hoodie, black sunglasses, tan brown pants, and it is confirmed he did display a pistol to the cashier.

UPDATE 11:19 a.m.: The Le Roy schools were notified about the situation.

UPDATE 11:27 a.m.: Police have been informed of a possible suspect vehicle that was seen circling in the parking lot of the Napa Auto Parts store (7180 W. Main St.) around the time of the robbery. It's a white Mitsubishi Diamante-style mid-size sedan driven by a white male who had a black passenger. In another development, police say they've determined the last place the suspect fled on foot and will begin tracking from that juncture.

UPDATE 12:11 p.m.: Five minutes ago, the State Helicopter went back in service after scouring the area around Tops for the suspect without locating him. There is a K-9 Unit trying to track the suspect, although it sounds as if police believe he more likely got a ride.

UPDATE 12:23 p.m.: A white male and black male have been spotted by a caller to dispatch walking out of the woods off Route 19 and Lake Street near Bob Adams Automotive.

UPDATE 12:26 p.m.: The pair are said to be walking "westbound on the south branch of the railroad tracks."

UPDATE 12:28 p.m.: There's some confusion since the caller reported seeing them walking eastbound.

UPDATE 12:33 p.m.: Police caught up with the pair. Both men are white.

UPDATE 1:03 p.m.: State units are back in service. The investigation continues.

Brian Odachowski
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I was at Scooters, meeting a friend for breakfast, at the time of the robbery. The State Police helicopter has been up for over an hour, circling the areas between the city park at the end of the Royal Apartments property, the Napa Store, Tops and the woods and fields all through the area. There is definitely a large, visible number of State Police, County Sheriffs, Le Roy Police and K-9 units patrolling the entire area at this time.

It's sad to see that crimes that you expect to occur in Buffalo and Rochester, are beginning to spill over into our local, smaller rural towns.

Gary Spencer
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I hope they got a good picture that they can release!

John Simmons
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It's sad to see that crimes that you expect to occur in Buffalo and Rochester, are beginning to spill over into our local, smaller rural towns.

That is what the future holds for all the small towns in this state, we moved here in 1989 from Monroe County when the good OLE State of NY took out house away by Imminent Domain & we were forced to move out. So, we came to Genesee County that was a lot nicer, & friendlier & cheaper. They had a 7% tax rate, you could register your vehicles here & save $20 a year over being in Monroe County, you could ask directions & get the whole history of the area you would be going to by the local farmer that was always ready, willing, & able to help you out anytime at all, & ALL the people were a LOT NICER then, anywhere else in the state! And everyone waved hello to you as you drove past their house or farms. But, then it slowly changed & the riff-raff from the bigger cites decided that a small town was a nice place to live & they paid more for welfare & other mandated public assistant programs & pretty soon the druggies & no accounts moved in because they were harassed in the big cities & not in Genesee County! So now it is just as bad here, if not worse, that in the big cities & there is nothing anyone can do to curb any of the foolish spending of increased taxpayers bucks & such unless you move away when you retire & live in an out of the way place that no one else wants to be bothered living in, which is where I will be moving to for the winter & paying a lot less to live with nicer people than here in a typical "used to be nice town" that is just as bad as a big city has always been.... IF I ever win the powerball, I'd buy my own little island in the south pacific & watch the world go belly up & still be happy that I took all my friends & family with me.. :)

Tim Miller
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The change is probably due to all the folks who moved to Genesee County from Monroe County since the late 80s.... ;-)

Just kidding, sort of, but nothing personal.

I'm one of those people who has moved to places that at one time were "smaller, nicer, friendlier, etc" throughout my adult life. Well, Miami was never any of those, but I bailed on that cesspool within a year. I had to have a chuckle at letters to the editor in two of those cities that decried the quality of life of their little corners of heaven going to pot because of all the people moving there... those letters opened with "when I moved here X years ago", without a smidgen of irony.

I wonder how many people move to these nicer places, convince their friends or family to move there, too, then decry how the place is getting overrun by outsiders?

Dave Olsen
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Or how it's going to feel when you find out the criminals that robbed Tops are from Rochester.

Doug Yeomans
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I grew up in Tyre, NY which is near Seneca Falls. It's a small, rural area, and it was much more rural when I was a kid. When we moved into our house in May of 1966, Westbrook Rd was an oiled, dirt lane, as were many or the roads in rural America. Route 318 between the Waterloo and Geneva thruway exits was also a dirt road. If anyone is familiar with that road, there's a bit of history for you.

I was definitely a country boy at heart. I ran small trap lines in the woods right next to our house and I shot my first deer 200 yards from the house. I rode the bus home after school, grabbed the 12 Ga shotgun, took a walk out back and jumped my first buck.

My house was repeatedly broken into when I lived in Rochester and the police had little interest in catching the people doing it. Only one neighbor had the hair to get involved and he was a disabled vet. My other neighbors slowly moved away and those houses became section 8 dwellings. It was the only way the people were able to sell their house. The neighborhood turned to sh**.

I moved to East rd in East Bethany during the summer of 2003 for some of the same reasons John Simmons mentioned. So far, I've been the victim of two thefts in Genesee county. The first one was when my utility trailer and Honda Foreman 4wheeler were stolen right from my driveway. The 2nd one was when the gasoline was stolen from the bed of my truck @ Batavia Downs.

I've come to the conclusions that thieves and scumbags are everywhere. It doesn't matter where you live, you still have to be vigilant to protect your belongings. My next purchase is going to be security cameras with night vision running on a UPS (battery backup).

I'd still rather live in Genesee county than Monroe any day. It sure does have its share of thieves, though. Just reading the local online news outlets makes everyone aware of that reality. "What's yours, is mine" seems to be the motto of an awful lot of people..sad, but true.

John Woodworth JR
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Yeah, I agree times have changed and not for the better. Growing up in Stafford was great from picking peas from the pod to playing football or baseball in my backyard. Neighbors were always watching one anothers' property. If, I did something wrong in the neighborhood by the time I got home my parents (Usually my Mom) were already waiting for me with punishment to follow. Like Doug I hunted in my own backyard. I remember our neighbors watching out for a vehicle in which the driver tried to convince a couple neighborhood girls to get in his car. Police eventually track down and caught same. When I was growing up all us neighborhood kids hung out and played together. Families knew their neighbor and held neighbor functions. Now I know a few neighbors. The neighbors are not as informative or likely to get involved with others situations. Neighborhood watch is only done by a few instead of the majority. The only other place I would like to live other than Stafford is Great Falls, Montana which is roughly the size of Batavia but, with more variety. Thieves and scumbags are everywhere but, it is still less here than in other places. We used to leave our cars and homes unlocked not anymore.

Billie Owens
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We have a giant, fierce-looking and sounding dog, which certainly makes me feel a measure of safety. Something I've gleaned from listening to the scanner over the past few years, is that when I hear a call to dispatch about a security alarm to a private home -- or business for that matter -- the overwhelming majority of times it's determined to be a false alarm or a malfunction. The Le Roy Tops incident being one of the few exceptions, and there are always exceptions.

I'm a big believer in residential alarm systems, though I can't afford one right now. I think most thieves are opportunists who see ample chances to try and steal something without going to a house with an alarm company sign in the yard or a dog of any kind barking inside.

Property in the driveway or yard is another matter, unfortunately.

As a transplant from SoCal, I think people do acclimate to change, just like they do the weather. When we came here in 2007, Rochester in our mind was a small city, at least compared to San Diego. Now it seems like a medium-size city and San Diego a metropolis. Batavia is a small city and a pretty nice one, despite the bad apples. Genesee County has a lot to offer.

Doug Yeomans
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I just want to run the security cameras in the barn, in the house, and outside in a few strategic locations. Theft cannot be prevented. Locking things might slow down thieves, but locks certainly don't stop them. Crimes can be solved with video even if faces can't be seen. The way a person walks and their clothing can identify suspects just about as well as facial recognition. Audio can help because I would imagine the thieves are talking to each other if they're working as a team.

Hmmm...everyone has a cell phone these days, so I'm wondering if "all cell phones" can be triangulated in a specific area within a specific time frame. Something like this..."My house was broken into between 6am and 5pm while I was at work. Can we find out what cell phones pinged towers from that location during that time frame?" Every crook has a cell phone!

Mark Brudz
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Doug, a cell phone ping for a phone without GPS takes you within say 1000 yards, not feet, yards. In order to ping a GPS enabled phone a few yards, however, you need the number first and a warrant. to take an advantage of that.

1000 yards being 3000' feet or 2/3rds of a mile, even in the country setting that would be one hell of a lot of phones to check.

That would seem to me no different than the NSA storing phone data on all citizens;

To check every phone that entered the 1000 yard circle would be pretty much a warrantless search in my perspective as many phones would cross that triangle.

I can see it if they have a suspect and checked to see if their phone was within that 1000 yards, in fact I would be willing to bet that they already do that, but there is a huge difference between verifying a suspects location and blanket cell phone data collection.

Just sayin'

Note: I know this because I have 5 family phones that I can ping through 'Family Where' Four of my phones have GPS and we can get within 10 yards, 1 does not and usually pings @ 1200-1500 yards the closest ping we ever had of that phone was 875yards. The Phone company told me, that unless a phone without GPS is practically next to the tower, there are accuracy issues.

Ed Hartgrove
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Yeah, Doug. I remember the 'oiled' roads (well, patches of road, anyways). Being a dirt-road denizen for years, every summer the 'town' would drive the back roads, lay down a 30-foot strip of OIL in front of the houses, turn the spigots off, drive to the next home, turn the oil on, lay a strip, etc.
This was done to avoid the heated complaints from the housewives about the road dust ruining their drying laundry, which was hanging out in the yard. It helped, but because they couldn't control the wind, you were at Mother Natures' whim as to where the dust came from. I think the DEC (or EPA) stopped that practice of 'oiling'.

As for the gas cans being stolen from your truckbed, did'ya ever think about carrying 2 cans? An 'easier-to-get-to' one diluted with 50% water, and a 'harder-to-get-to' one for YOUR use? Granted, you may never know who took it, or what damage it did, but I'm thinkin' that when someone is low enough on gas to steal it, dumping half & half in the tank isn't gonna be good for them.

Doug Yeomans
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Ed, I normally don't have gasoline in the bed of the truck unless I'm getting it for the lawnmower, chainsaw..etc. That day I just had the gasoline and decided to stop into the casino to try my luck! LOL!

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