Tonawanda News

August 7, 2012

Suspect flees botched robbery

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

CITY OF TONAWANDA — A man remains at large after attempting to rob a Rent-A-Center employee and stealing a car in the City of Tonawanda Monday morning, according to police. 

Lt. Fredric Foels said a black male, wearing jeans and a yellow shirt, attempted to rob the employee outside of the Rent-A-Center at 798 Young Street at around 8:12 a.m. Police believe the man, who is thought to be between 6 feet to 6-feet-four inches tall, assaulted the employee in an attempt to rob the store. However, the employee resisted the robber, who in turn hit the employee about 10 times and also used a black handgun as a blunt weapon. 

“Somehow the front door of the store got smashed, too,” Foles said. 

Police believe the robber became frustrated with the employees’ resistance and took off running. Minutes later, a black male stole a Chevy Cavalier from the Tops Gas Station in the same plaza. Keys were left inside the vehicle, police said. 

“It sounds like it was one and the same person,” Foles said. “It’s a robbery gone wrong.” 

The car was found abandoned on Lorelee Drive near Colvin Boulevard in the Town of Tonawanda, less than a half mile away. 

“The town police brought out their dog and Erie County Sheriff Department had a helicopter in the area,” Foles said. “Just in case he was still on foot.”

The car was taken to the police garage and detectives are processing the vehicle and  the crime scene at the Rent-A-Center.  

Detectives are interviewing a delivery truck driver who was at the Rent-a-Center, witnesses from Tops, and the Rent-A-Center employee, who is 50 years old.

He was sent to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.