Observant security guard provides tip to bust robbery trio www.privateofficer.com
Rochester NY Dec 31 2011 An observant security guard on his lunch break provided a tip that cracked the case of armed robberies and eight businesses in four Monroe County communities this month.
Brothers Jacob and Jeffrey Buchanan and Jacob’s girlfriend Sarah Cushman are all facing multiple counts of first-degree robbery and fourth-degree grand larceny, both felonies, in connection with the robberies, mainly at tanning salons, between Dec. 7 and 23, Rochester Police Sgt. Naser Zenelovic said during a news conference today. All three have “significant” criminal backgrounds, he said, but declined to elaborate.
Jacob Buchanan, 22, of Rochester is accused of taking part in six of the eight armed robberies in Rochester, Brighton, Greece and Irondequoit. Cushman, 26, of Rochester, is accused of participating in five robberies and Jeffrey Buchanan, 20, of Gates is accused of participating in the first two.
Seven businesses were robbed over the 16-day period, including a Brighton tanning salon that was robbed twice. Five of the businesses are tanning salons and the other two are near previously robbed salons.
In all but one robbery, the suspect displayed a knife, threatened the clerk and demanded cash, he said. At one of the stores, a tanning salon in Rochester, a handgun was displayed. No one was injured in any of the robberies.
Zenelovic said investigators believed the trio targeted tanning salons because Cushman had previously worked at one in the area and knew how such salons operated. He said police do not believe she previously worked at any of the affected salons.
Although the four departments were together investigating the robberies and had studied video footage of the suspects for more than two weeks, it was a tip from an observant security guard at a Brighton tanning salon that led to the arrests, Zenelovic said.
The guard was eating a sandwich in his car the evening of Dec. 23 when he saw a woman run from the salon and get into a nearby vehicle, Zenelovic said. He copied down the vehicle’s plate information, which led to a neighborhood canvass and ultimately all three arrests.
That security guard had worked at the salon only one day, Zenelovic said. He was hired after an armed robbery there the previous morning because employees were frightened.
The group is accused of stealing several hundred in cash from each business. Some of the money was recovered.
Jacob Buchanan and Cushman were apprehended early Christmas Eve. Jeffrey Buchanan was arrested two days later. All three are in the Monroe County Jail.
Zenelovic said the trio confessed “to a number of the jobs” while in custody. The case will be reviewed by a grand jury.