Two state correction officers charged with staging a $70,000 stickup at the AM&A's Thruway Plaza store were suspended without pay Friday pending formal disciplinary hearings.
John L. Elliott, 40, and Glenn J. Kuhlmey, 37, will remain off duty indefinitely while officials at the state Department of Correctional Services decide whether they should be dismissed, said Kelly Priess, a department spokeswoman.
The suspensions followed their arrests on a five-count grand jury indictment linking them to a June 17 robbery at the store, where Kuhlmey was a part-time security guard.
The suspects were taken into custody at their homes Thursday night by Cheektowaga police detectives Dennis Gibbs and Floyd Lukowski, who linked the guards to the heist. The detectives refused to comment on what led them to the suspects.
Elliott, a state prison guard for eight years, and Kuhlmey, with seven years of state service, are accused of robbing two female store employees at gunpoint in a second-floor office a few minutes before the store's scheduled 5:30 p.m. closing time.
Kuhlmey was working as a private security guard for the department store at the time of the robbery, police said.
One of the bandits dropped a .38-caliber revolver near a first-floor door moments after the heist, according to police. The loot, which police still are trying to recover, represented three days of sales receipts.
Since last August, both suspects have been assigned as correction officers at the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Unit in Brocton. Elliott was making $35,000 and Kuhlmey was making $32,000 a year at the time of their suspensions, according to departmental records.
Elliott of 761 McKinley Parkway and Kuhlmey of 232 Marrano Creek Road, both in Cheektowaga, were released from custody late Friday afternoon after relatives posted $10,000 bail for each.