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Lackawanna man charged with two store robberies

A Lackawanna man has been arrested in connection with robberies at a Dollar General store and a Family Dollar store on Sunday in Lackawanna and is a suspect in a third robbery Monday in Buffalo, Lackawanna detectives said Tuesday.

Justin Hetsko, 24, of Kirby Avenue, allegedly stole about $150 from the Dollar General at 1233 Abbott Road, at about 7:40 p.m. Sunday, after telling the clerk he had a gun, according Lackawanna Police Capt. Joseph Leo, chief of detectives.

At noon that day, Hetsko allegedly entered the Family Dollar at 3231 South Park Ave. and grabbed approximately $90 from the cash register before fleeing in a vehicle, Leo said.

Detective Rodney Pietras was able to identify the getaway car in the earlier robbery after receiving a partial license plate number and that led police to a home on Warsaw Street where the driver was picked up for questioning, according to Leo.

“We interrogated the driver and were able to identify Hetsko as the robbery suspect and we arrested him after locating and interviewing him,” Leo said, adding that Detectives Chuck Jaworski and Brian Lakso also assisted in the investigation. “Hetsko was doing these robberies to support his heroin addiction,” Leo said.

Hetsko also is a suspect in a Monday afternoon robbery at a South Park Avenue store in Buffalo.

Detectives in Lackawanna have charged him with one count of first-degree robbery and two counts of third-degree robbery. An additional charge of criminal possession of heroin also was filed.