Orchard Park police might have thought they were dealing with a gang of thieves when they responded to four cases of burglary, attempted burglary or larceny in the town in one 24-hour period.
But now police say the crimes involving a drugstore, a Chinese restaurant, a $1,500 bicycle and a $200 bottle of wine were the work of just one man, a 21-year-old town resident.
Charges are lodged or pending against Brandon R. Innes in three thefts, one attempted theft – and an incident of domestic violence – all taking place throughout the day Friday, according to a lengthy news release from Orchard Park police.
"He was quite busy," Detective Lt. Patrick McMaster said in an interview.
Town police say they first caught wind of the one-man crime spree at about 3:30 a.m. Friday when officers on patrol responded to a burglar alarm at the Rite Aid at 4060 N. Buffalo Road. An officer found a man at the rear door holding what appeared to be a screwdriver. The man began to run but was caught after a brief foot chase.
The man, later identified as Innes, was caught attempting to pry the rear door open, police said. Charges of attempted burglary, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration and possession of burglar tools are pending in this incident.
Next, at about 12:30 p.m. Friday, an officer followed up on a report of an overnight burglary that took place at the China Garden restaurant at 4070 N. Buffalo Road, located next to the Rite Aid.
Police say their investigation determined Innes entered the restaurant through the rear door and stole an unspecified amount from a container in the store. Burglary, petit larceny and related charges are pending in this case.
McMaster said officers spoke to Innes about the China Garden break-in Friday afternoon, and he was cooperative. "We've had some contact with him over the years," McMaster said, including a driving while intoxicated arrest and disturbance calls to his home.
Then, at 8:30 p.m. Friday, an officer was sent to investigate the theft of a $1,500 bicycle from a garage on Templeton Trail.
Police say that bicycle was found several hours later, after an officer had responded at 11:15 p.m. to a domestic violence call at Innes' residence on Stoughton Lane.
Innes is accused of causing $6,000 to $8,000 in damage to his house, including holes in walls and broken windows, cabinet doors, mirrors, tables and lights, paint thrown on the garage walls and floor and a bathroom door kicked off the hinges. He's also accused of pushing and throwing a family member onto the bed.
The stolen bicycle, which easily identifiable, was found in Innes' garage as officers were taking photographs for evidence, police say.
Innes was charged with criminal mischief and harassment for the incident at his residence. Burglary and criminal possession of stolen property charges are pending for the theft of the bicycle.
Finally, later Saturday morning police responded to a report of a theft of a $200 bottle of wine that had taken place on Friday evening at Colonial Wines and Spirits on Southwestern Boulevard.
A store manager said a man came in around 9:15 p.m., hid the bottle in his pants, left without paying and escaped on a dirt bike. McMaster said an officer who reviewed surveillance video from the store recognized Innes, who was charged with larceny for taking the wine.
"We believe he drank it," McMaster said. "We recovered a bottle of wine, but it was empty."
Innes was arraigned Saturday morning for charges relating to the domestic incident at his home and the theft of wine. Bail was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. He could not post bail and was taken to the Erie County Holding Center. A felony hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
McMaster said police believe Innes has a substance abuse problem that fueled the burglaries and attempted burglary of which he is accused. McMaster said 11 officers over four shift changes were kept busy investigating the five incidents from early Friday into Saturday morning.
"It is not typical," he said. "It is unusual, I would say, for most jurisdictions."