Police say suspect shaved his head between robbery and arrest - The Buffalo News
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Police say suspect shaved his head between robbery and arrest

Lackawanna police late Friday night had to chase and fight a bank robbery suspect before finally subduing and arresting him.

The KeyBank branch at 703 Ridge Road was held up at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, and a surveillance camera photographed the robber, who had a long beard.

But when police caught up with their suspect, around 11 p.m. Friday, not only did he have a clean-shaven face, but his entire head was shaved.

William A. Hirsch Jr., 31, of 31 Caldwell Ave., was apprehended after police were notified of his presence at 97 Victory Ave.

As four officers surrounded the house and he was questioning a woman who answered the front door, Capt. Joseph Leo said that Hirsch fled through a side door.

Hirsch hopped a chain link fence, and Officer Joseph Pyjas chased him, tackled him and finally subdued him with the help of other officers as the suspect fought back, Leo said.

While Hirsch was being searched at Police Headquarters, officers found a glass pipe they said is normally used for smoking crack cocaine. It was sent to the Central Police Services laboratory for testing.

The arrest followed the bank robbery, when police and the FBI were summoned to the bank after a robber handed the teller a threatening note, and made it appear he had a handgun in his jacket pocket. The robber then fled the bank branch with an undetermined amount of currency.

Leo said the suspect provided police a full confession, indicating he had seen a recent movie in which a robber puts a candy bar in his pocket to simulate a gun and then robs a bank.

Hirsch was charged with second-degree robbery, criminal possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and other charges. Officers Jeffrey Welsh and Christopher Stampone assisted in the arrest.

Leo said it was the second time in a week that police had encountered Hirsch, including an incident a week earlier after he had ingested a large quantity of drugs and was lying on railroad tracks in an apparent suicide attempt.

email: rmccarthy@buffnews.com

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