Erie Police have made several arrests after a string of robberies and thefts took place at local stores, including a Family Dollar on East 12th Street.
Here is more on these investigations as well as the uptick in thefts and robberies.
In the last few weeks, police have responded to incidents at several stores. Store owners and managers are attempting to be proactive.
Two arrests have been made after a string of robberies took place throughout Erie County.
One man was taken into custody in connection with two of the robberies in the same night. That man will face multiple charges.
Antonio Hawthorne, 52, has been arrested after allegedly stealing from a Family Dollar on East 12th Street twice in the same night.
“We were able to take a look at the security video and we were able to ascertain that it was the same individual. We were able to then find that individual a short time later and he did have items that were taken from the burglary,” said Rick Lorah, Deputy Chief of Erie City Police.
Erie Police said this was one of several recent reports of theft. However, local municipalities have been able to work with Pennsylvania State Police to make arrests.
Police are charging a Summit man with robbing a Dollar General store in Waterford Township on April 9.
Police are charging 33-year-old Christopher Zapolski. Zapolski has also been accused of robbing Tops Friendly Market at West 26th Street on April 3.
The manager of one convenience store said that the safety of their customers and employees is their top priority.
“The camera is most important. That’s why the customer comes. They’re conscious of what they’re doing. so security is good for everyone, for you, for us, for everyone,” said Rewse Bakhtwa, Manager of Lucky’s Food Mart.
These two arrests account for many of the recent reports of robberies and thefts.
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However, Erie Police urge store owners to purchase cameras to assist investigators.