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Suspected bank robber arrested

A local man known to law enforcement was able to slip away after a bank robbery Tuesday morning at the HSBC Bank at 805 Main St. But he was not free for long.

Sheldon W. Crogan, 36, of Main Street, was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he was spotted walking on 24th Street by city narcotics detectives.

Crogan was charged with third-degree robbery after he gave a full confession to the robbery to Detectives William Smith and Patricia McCune.

He was brought in for questioning just before 3 p.m. after Niagara Falls Narcotics Detectives Thomas Rodriguez and Joseph Palermo spotted him in the 500 block of 24th Street.

"They knew who he was. They saw him walking down the street and they arrested him," said Detective Lt. Michael Trane. "We knew he lived in the city, and he has been arrested before."

Crogan is being held in Niagara Falls City Jail and will be arraigned this morning.

Police said he went into the HSBC branch just after 11 a.m. Tuesday and gave a note to a teller claiming he had a gun and demanding money. Trane said no gun was displayed.

"No one in the bank, other than the teller, even knew what was going on," he said. "He was very calm. There was no gun, there was no running, no yelling. They just gave him a bunch of money and he walked out."

Crogan also had calmly passed one of the detectives he would later confess to as he walked out of the the bank. Smith, who was using the ATM in the lobby, had just walked into the bank, while McCune waited outside in an unmarked car. It wasn't until bank staff locked the door behind him that Smith learned that a robbery had taken place.

A search for Crogan on Tuesday was unsuccessful.

Crogan has a criminal history that includes burglary, robbery and harassment.

On April 5 he appeared in Niagara County Court before State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. on charges of burglarizing a house Oct. 5 in the city. t

On Oct. 31, 1996 he was ordered to serve a prison term of six to 12 years on reduced charges of second-degree robbery for forcibly stealing a vehicle and a credit card after threatening the victim with a dangerous instrument on May 17, 1996.