CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Early Thursday morning, Cheektowaga Police arrested two men just minutes after they allegedly held-up the NOCO Express on Transit Road.
This marks the third time in recent weeks that the NOCO has been robbed. This time, it happened around 1 a.m. The suspects entered the store, displayed a handgun, then fled with cash from the register.
“They were in the store in seconds, did their thing, and were out in a minute,” said Cheektowaga Police Capt. James Speyer. “These guys have done this before. They know what works and they were effective with what they were doing.”
“The clerk was made to lay on the floor while they got what they wanted and told [them] to wait 10 seconds and then they fled.”
Officers quickly responded to the area and found the suspects after they allegedly ran a red light at Losson and Towers Boulevard. After taking 29-year-old Anderson Arroyo of Amherst and 45-year-old Timothy Reinard of Lockport into custody, police say they found cash from the robbery and clothes matching the description of the suspects inside the vehicle, which is registered to Arroyo.
“They couldn’t tell us where they were coming first of all. And they said they were going home to Lockport. They were on side streets trying to evade police is what was going on,” Capt. Speyer said.
Since Christmas Eve, there have been 21 armed robberies in Amherst, Wheatfield, Medina, North Tonawanda, Lockport, Middleport, Niagara Falls, and Tonawanda. Cheektowaga Police are currently working with other agencies to determine if the other robberies were committed by Arroyo and Reinard.
“Their descriptions matched, the way that they were disguised matched, several similarities. I mean, the robberies are unusual and we meet with other agencies all the time to go over their latest trends, and obviously it sticks out. Robberies are on the list because they’re dangerous, especially armed robberies,” Capt. Speyer.
Investigators from other agencies were at Cheektowaga Police headquarters throughout Thursday to question the suspects.
Capt. Speyer said, “These guys have committed so many [armed robberies] that we’re lucky we got them off the street before someone was hurt.”
For now, both men are charged with robbery, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon.