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Craigslist robber pleads guilty to multiple robberies

A 22-year-old Buffalo man, who used the Internet to lure several victims, has pleaded guilty to robbery and weapon possession charges, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announced today.

Kendrick Pritchett, of Amherst Street, pleaded guilty before Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk to multiple felony counts of robbery, as well as criminal possession of a weapon. Six robbery charges stemmed from a spring crime spree in which he used Craigslist ads to lure unsuspecting victims.

Between March 28 and April 9, Pritchett placed online ads for fictitious items such as iPhones and iPads, the district attorney said. Each of the victims who responded to the ads ere robbed in broad daylight in public areas in Buffalo and the towns of Tonawanda and Amherst.

Pritchett assaulted one victim who resisted, Sedita said.

The spree ended when a victim, whose iPad was stolen, immediately alerted Town of Tonawanda police.

Police officers, aided by “Tank,” a German shepherd police dog, gave chase.

Pritchett lost his shirt and had been bitten several times by Tank before he escaped into a home, Sedita said.

An occupant in the home called police after hearing noises coming from the basement.

Police went to the home and took Pritchett into custody without incident.

Sedita said the two most serious charges – first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon – were related to a June 18 armed robbery that occurred during a meeting with a marijuana dealer on Buffalo’s West Side. Pritchett set up the meeting, ostensible to buy marijuana, but instead pointed a loaded gun at the dealer and robbed him of the pot and cash.

A short time later police spotted Pritchett and arrested him after a chase. The handgun used in that robbery was found under a nearby car and was linked to Pritchett through DNA evidence, Sedita said.

Pritchett was released from custody after his arrest, however, because the victim did not appear in Buffalo City Court to testify at a preliminary hearing.

Sedita praised Town of Tonawanda and Buffalo police.

“The defendant was arrested because of their dogged pursuit and successfully prosecuted because of the thoroughness and professionalism of their investigation,” Sedita said in a statement.

Pritchett faces a maximum prison sentence of 115 years when sentenced Aug. 5 by Franczyk.