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Buffalo Police Department
Mayor Byron W. Brown
Commissioner Daniel Derenda

Home » Press Releases » 2008 News Archive » 3 Arrested in University District Robberies

3 Arrested in University District Robberies

Buffalo Police have made three arrests in robberies that targeted the University Heights area. The three suspects were arrested and charged with three separate robberies that took place within a 10-to-15 minute span Sunday night. Arrested were 16-year-old Montek Mastin of LaSalle Avenue, 18-year-old Isiah Powers of Spring Street and a 15-year-old juvenile. The arrests came as Buffalo Police continue their crackdown in the University Heights area. Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson recently ordered a special "robbery detail" be set up after authorities noticed an increase in robberies in the University District area. That detail paid off Sunday night with the three arrests.

The three suspects first struck at about 10:20pm Sunday night on Winspear Avenue. The three robbed a male victim at gunpoint, taking his cell phone. Minutes later, the three robbed another victim in the Minnesota-Comstock area. This time the three robbed a female and made off with her purse. And right after that in the 200 block of Minnesota, the suspects held up a male victim, and again made off with the victim's cell phone. But the short-lived crime spree ended right there. Moments later, Buffalo Police Officers Earl Perrin and Dave Barczak apprehended the three suspects as they tried to flee the scene. Officers recovered the weapon plus the two cell phones.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Daniel Derenda, said, "We are continuing to address the situation in the University Heights area. The three arrests made Sunday night are significant because a crime spree was halted in its tracks by some very good police work." Derenda added, "We've made a number of arrests in the University area and we will continue to use extra patrols until we're convinced the situation has been dealt with."

"There is a strong likelihood that these are not the only incidents for which these suspects are responsible," said Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards. "The district detectives are continuing to establish links to any other reported crimes in the University District," Richards said.

Police are urging residents in that neighborhood to call 9-1-1 immediately if they see anything suspicious. If anyone has any information regarding recent robberies in the area, they can contact the confidential TIP CALL LINE at 847-2255 or e-mail the department at and just click on the "Report a Tip" section on the homepage.