A week before police bagged him, the man investigators suspect of covering parts of his body in paper or plastic bags during a trio of robberies in Niagara Falls got released from prison.
Andrew J. Patterson, who was arrested Wednesday night, was paroled Oct. 2, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Patterson was sentenced in May 2017 to three years in prison after being convicted of a gas station robbery in Buffalo, according police and court records.
Five days after the 29-year-old got out of Mid-State Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison near Utica, Niagara Falls police say they believe Patterson held up three businesses in a 13-hour span.
Patterson was arrested Wednesday night on 19th Street, between Niagara Street and Ferry Avenue. He was charged with first-degree attempted robbery and resisting arrest, and police say more charges may be levied. Patterson pleaded not guilty Thursday in Niagara Falls City Court.
The first in Monday’s string of robberies happened about 11 a.m. at the Sunoco Mini-Mart on Main Street near Ferry. The robber had a plastic shopping bag over the lower part of his face, plastic bags over his shoes and had a bag over his right hand, in which he held an unknown object, police said.
The robber made off with $300 in cash and two packs of cigarettes.
Around 8:30 p.m., a robber wearing a green paper shopping bag over his head robbed the 7-Eleven at 2824 Pine Ave. The bag had holes cut out for eyes. The robber also had a plastic bag covering his torso and bags over his shoes, as well as a bag over his right hand, which also was holding an unidentified object, according to police.
A store employee told police he could tell the item the robber held was not a gun, so he confronted the robber, who fled the scene.
At midnight, a robber wearing a hoodie over his head and a plastic bag over his right hand struck Frankie’s Donuts, 717 Portage Road. He took $390 in cash and fled.
Then around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, police spotted Patterson on 19th Street, following extensive surveillance and searches by patrol officers, detectives and the U.S. Marshals Task Force, police said in a news release.
When detectives approached him, he ran. He was taken into custody “after a short foot chase and violent struggle,” police said. Neither Patterson nor any officers suffered any serious injuries, police said.
In January 2017, Patterson was convicted in Erie County of driving while ability impaired by drugs and sentenced to probation, according to court records.
On Feb. 27, 2017, a gas station on Elmwood Avenue, between Bryant Street and Hodge Avenue, in Buffalo was robbed by a man who demanded cash and Newport cigarettes, according to a police report.
The robber held his hand in his pocket and threatened a store employee, according to the report.
Patterson was arrested after a police officer spotted a man matching the robber’s description near a taxi cab near Bryant and Ashland Avenue. Patterson also tried fighting with the officer, who took him into custody. He was charged with first-degree robbery, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and resisting arrest, according to the report.
He was sentenced May 17, 2017, after being convicted of second-degree attempted robbery and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, according to state corrections records.