NIAGARA FALLS – A man armed with a 4-inch folding knife walked into the 7-Eleven store in the 1500 block of Pine Avenue shortly before midnight Tuesday and demanded the clerk hand over cash in the register. The man ran off with $70 in small bills, according to police.
The theft is the fifth in a rash of robberies targeting 7-Eleven stores in the city since the beginning of September, police said. Officers on Sept. 12 arrested a man suspected of being involved in three 7-Eleven robberies earlier this month. But after he was arrested, two more robberies were reported this past week.
The description of the robber in Monday night's robbery closely matches a robbery reported around the same time Wednesday at a 7-Eleven in the 9100 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard. In that robbery, the robber was armed with what appeared to be a black semiautomatic pistol and demanded cash from a clerk.
In both cases, the robber was described as a light-skinned black man in his early 20s, with a medium build, about 5 foot 8, and 140 to 160 pounds. Police have not reported whether the cases are related.
The robber Monday night was wearing a white mask and white hooded sweatshirt.
"Thanks for being nice," the robber told the clerk. "I'll leave something for you by the Dumpster."
Police investigating the area found a white sweatshirt, which they confiscated, in the 1700 block of Ferry Avenue.
Two weeks ago, city detectives charged Paul J. Schubert, 21, of Garden Avenue, for his role in two robberies and one attempted robbery of three 7-Eleven stores in a one-week period. Schubert is being held without bail in Niagara County Jail. He is accused of robbing a 7-Eleven store at 6802 Buffalo Ave. on Sept. 12.
On Sept. 6, he allegedly tried to rob a store at 7610 Buffalo Ave., and when he didn't succeed, police said, he robbed a store at 2620 Niagara St. less than two hours later.
No weapon was displayed in any of those robberies, but clerks told police that Schubert said he had a gun.
Anyone with information on the latest robberies is asked to contact Niagara Falls police at 286-4711.