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Mayor Byron W. Brown
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Home » Press Releases » 2012 News Archive » BPD Have Serial Bank Robber in Custody

BPD Have Serial Bank Robber in Custody

February-28-2012 — A serial bank robbery suspect is in police custody late this afternoon, charged in connection with two recent heists.
Buffalo police have charged James Ellis (2/22/63) 49 years old, of no permanent address, with two bank recent bank robberies, including yesterday's robbery of an HSBC branch on South Park Avenue at Abbott Road, in which the suspect passed a note to a teller demanding cash. The other charged robbery is the one that occurred in the Northwest Savings Bank, 295 Main Street one week ago. At least two other bank robberies appear to be linked to the suspect, as well as a business robbery, all of which remain under investigation by police.
Investigators have been conferring with the District Attorney's office, and charged Ellis with two counts of third degree robbery late Tuesday afternoon, with any additional counts expected to be charged at a later date.
"Detectives had noticed the similarities in the appearance of the suspect in the recent bank robbery photos, as well as the method of operation in the recent robbery spree," according to Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives. "Ellis was picked up on the 700 block of Sycamore Street by Officer Anthony R. DiSarno of the South District," Richards said.
The suspect was brought to the Central District detectives office for questioning by Central District and South District detectives.
Participating in the various case investigations were Central District Detectives Brian F. Mahoney, Timothy J. Rooney, Anthony J. McHugh, John G. Paradowski, and South District Detective Mark J. Fitzpatrick.
Ellis made admissions to the investigators, telling them he spent the proceeds from his robbery spree, on crack cocaine, new clothes and sneakers. He is in the Erie County Holding Center, awaiting arraignment tomorrow morning in Buffalo City Court.
Officers worked closely with the members of the Erie Crime Analysis Center in the investigation of the robbery pattern, and developing a possible suspect responsible for the crimes, Richards said.