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Sunoco on West Main robbed, suspect already in custody

By Howard B. Owens

Within minutes of a reported robbery at the Sunoco Gas Station on West Main Street, a Batavia police officer reported taking a suspect into custody on Dellinger Avenue.

The initial report had a man who may have displayed a gun running from the store wearing a red coat and black mask.

UPDATE 11:04 p.m.: Officers on scene confirmed the suspect did use a gun and a gun was recovered. No word on how much money was taken. Officers recovered what appeared to be garments the suspect discarded as he ran from the store, including a red sweatshirt, black ski mask and sunglasses. Deputy Chris Erion was quickly on scene with his K-9 "Destro." Destro tracked the suspect's path and located what officers believed to be the demand note used by the suspect. The robbery was dispatched to Batavia PD patrols at 9:50 p.m. and an officer reported the suspect in custody at 9:53 p.m. The name of the suspect won't be released until after his arraignment in City Court. 

Notes: Destro, you may remember, is new to the force. While he has worked to help track a possibly missing person, Erion confirmed this is the first time Destro has tracked a suspected criminal and helped find evidence. Also, since Thursday, we've had, in the city, a burglary in progress, a bank robbery and now this armed robbery and in all three cases suspects were apprehended quickly by local law enforcement (State Police assisting Batavia PD on the bank robbery).

Top photo, Sgt. Chris Camp, Deputy Erion and Destro checking out the location on Dellinger of a possible demand note used by the suspect. Photos below: Officer James DeFreze with ski mask and sweater that may have been discarded near the station by the suspect, and the Sunoco station on West Main with Batavia PD, Sheriff's Office and State Police on scene.

Sally Waldron

I have heard rumors that there is a gang called the bloods that have set up home in Batavia,and their insignia is red hoodies. Haven't a few of these robberies had suspects with red jackets or hoodies?

Jan 21, 2014, 11:26pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

The Wikipedia article on Bloods, fwiw.

Nothing new, and not new to Batavia. There have been a handful of individuals potentially affiliated with the bloods, or think of themselves as affiliated with the bloods, for a good long while in Batavia. We covered the topic of possible gang involvement in some of these recent crimes in our story on the Park Avenue burglary. See the comments from BPD in that story.

The bigger concern is why the sudden use of guns?

Jan 21, 2014, 11:38pm Permalink
Kyle Couchman

I believe the guns have always been there. We are just more sensitive to their presence now because of multiple factors. School/ Mall/ Workplace/Theater shootings seem to be becoming commonplace. It also is proving the worthlessness of the Safe Act to actually affect this gun problem. It changes nothing for those who ignore and choose not to follow laws. Creates a bigger pool of victims for criminals who are armed to dominate over. And so on....

Does anyone still remember a time when things like Columbine were so shocking and atrocious that we thought it was a once in a lifetime fluke?

Jan 22, 2014, 12:27am Permalink
Bob Harker

As is the case 99% of the time in crime, I'm certain that this was not a legally owned and registered firearm. How's that unconstitutional "safe act" working out for you King Andy?

Great job, Batavia PD. Thank you!

Jan 22, 2014, 5:05am Permalink
Greg Rada

I remember hear talk of bloods and crips back in HS. All the "misfits" thought it was cool to join these gangs. There's no actual official attachment to the actual gangs themselves. They are all wanabies thinking they are cool. Sadly this doesn't change the fact wanabie dangerous thugs/gangsters are still dangerous.

Jan 22, 2014, 6:33am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Kyle, prior to the shots-fired incident at Walmart a year ago, in the five years I've been covering the city, there was no other gun-involved criminal incident in the city. Since September we've had two shots fired incidents (State and Jackson), an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver, an alleged burglar with a gun, now this.

This isn't a perception/greater awareness issue. There's been an observable boomlet of gun-involved crime in the city, something that at least in the past five years is new for the city (whether, of course, there was ever a similar uptick of gun-involved crime in the city, I don't know).

Now, compared to big city crime, this ain't nothing, but it's still concerning.

Jan 22, 2014, 6:49am Permalink
Kyle Couchman

No argument here on that. It is very concerning. Thats just things that have been reported. My two stepsons and their friends know of many more incidents that have gone unreported in that time period.

Jan 22, 2014, 8:25am Permalink
Kelly Hansen

It is sad that it came to an armed robbery to clean up the city (boy, they sure have been getting bold!), but the bright spot is that our local men and women in law enforcement are on the ball! There is much to celebrate in this story! I'm sure it was very upsetting to the individual who was 'held up,' but that aside:

1) No one was hurt
2) Another (alleged) criminal is off the street

This certainly isn't the preferred method of cleaning up criminal activity, but it seems they've just been begging for it lately - and BPD was on the job.

Jan 22, 2014, 10:55am Permalink
Brenda Ranney

Could it be that we as a community are perceived as easy compared to our big city neighbors ? That our community is a testing ground, earn your stripes here then graduate to the big time.

Maybe it's time for our community to establish a rep of our own, as the city where you don't want to do the crime because they make you do the whole time. They have a hanging judge.
Maybe I'm being naive thinking that if we need to adopt more of those systems that seem to work for that famous sheriff in Arizona with his pink jail and tents ? Been ages since I've seen jailed inmates picking trash up on the side of the road.

Jan 22, 2014, 11:24am Permalink
david spaulding

it's apparent to me that the criminal element does not read the Batavian or they would know they are going to be caught if they decide to act up.....
Good Job BPD and all of law enforcement.

Jan 22, 2014, 2:30pm Permalink
scott williams

Great job BPD. something tells me we will see alot more of this gun activity when it gets warmer out. What is the under lying problem making it happen so often ?? an influx of heroin and crack being brought to Batavia maybe. I hope the neighborhood sweep can bring our safe community back.

Jan 22, 2014, 6:18pm Permalink
Mark Brudz

Curtiss, Real gun or BB Gun it is still armed robbery. The presentation of any weapon no matter how lethal, is still armed robbery.

To steal, especially by the threat of physical force, real or implied is equally as heinous.

The young man also endangered people all over the city as law enforcement raced to the scene, pedestrians could have been hit, officers could have been involved in accidents, and that young man could have found himself shot dead.

The fact that it was a BB gun, does not make this any less of a crime, any less dangerous or any less stupid.

Bottom line, Law Enforcement responding had no idea that it was only a BB gun, and acted with great efficiency and did a bang up job.

Jan 22, 2014, 9:52pm Permalink

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