Two busted after failing to rob business

Police say two men driving a stole minivan and using a stolen gun attempted to rob Universal Check Cashing in Niagara Falls on Thursday.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m., detectives say 22-year-old Cortez McClain and 23-year-old Marcus Hamilton, Jr. entered the Portage Road business wearing masks while armed with a handgun and demanded money. The employee refused to turn over any cash and the suspects fled as the employee called police.

Authorities say McClain and Hamilton fled to a minivan they had stolen minutes prior to attempting the robbery. But while driving away, police say icy conditions caused the suspects to crash into a parked car at 9th and Pine Avenue and then flee on foot.

Police closed in on the suspects on 9th Street while they were waiting for someone to come pick them up. They were taken into custody without incident.

The gun allegedly used by McClain and Hamilton had been stolen from a Lockport home in 2003.

Both are now charged with first degree attempted robbery, second degree attempted robbery, second degree menacing, second degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth degree grand larceny and second degree criminal mischief. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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