TheDailyNews - A Lackawanna man has been arrested and charged with two of nine convenience store “smash-and-grab” burglaries and is likely to be charged with similar crime in Warsaw.
Phillip S. Muzzy Jr., 34, is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree grand larceny.
He is accused of using bricks or stones to smash windows at Crosby’s and Pavilion Farms stores in Pavilion on Oct. 22.
That same night, the Kwik Fill in Warsaw was burglarized,
“It was the exact same thing,” Warsaw Chief Peter Hoffmeister said. “They threw a brick of cement stone through the window, grabbed cigarettes and other small items and ran out.”
Hoffmeister said charges against Muzzy are expected.
Nine similar burglaries happened in Genesee County in October, with stores in Darien, Le Roy, Corfu and Alexander hit.
Genesee Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said it’s possible Muzzy may be charged with more but it appeared that “two crews” may have been committed the crimes, along with similar ones in Erie County.
It was in Erie County that Muzzy first got arrested.
Erie County sheriff’s deputies conducted a stakeout after a string of convenience store burglaries.
Deputies set up in Elma on Oct. 27 when they stopped a car with two people inside and discovered evidence from recent burglaries.
Muzzy and James Trala, 30, of Depew, were charged with burglary, criminal mischief and grand larceny. Muzzy also was charged with possession of burglar tools and aggravated unlicensed operation.
Among the items stolen were lottery tickets, cigarettes, cash and donations from a Breast Cancer Awareness collection box, deputies said.
Trala has a long history of burglaries, serving two state prison terms for burglary convictions. He was released from prison Aug. 22 and is on parole until 2021.
Brewster said Trala is not being charged in Genesee County, though that may change as the investigation continues.
Muzzy was arraigned in Pavilion Town Court. He is in Erie County Holding Center. Bail was set at $15,000 in Genesee County, should he be released from Erie.
The investigation was conducted by Investigator Chad Minutol, deputies Travis Demuth and Jenna Ferrando, Sgt. John Baiocco, Warsaw Police Department and Erie County Sheriff’s Department."