The suspect charged with robbing a bank in the Village of Orchard Park on Friday had been arrested just a month earlier for breaking into a home in Hamburg, police said Saturday.
Michael W. Johnson, 29, of Elmtree Road in Orchard Park, is accused of robbing the Community Bank on Clark Street Friday afternoon.
Johnson was taken into custody about an hour later in Buffalo, police said.
Police officials on Saturday confirmed that Johnson had been charged by police in Hamburg on April 22 for breaking into a home on Clifton Parkway in the town.
Johnson was in trouble again on Friday, when at about 1:45 p.m. he went to the Community Bank – which is located about 500 feet from the Orchard Park Police Department – and passed a note to a teller demanding money, a police official said. Johnson is accused of running off with an undetermined amount of cash.
But moments later, as the robber drove away in a car, he hit a utility pole on School Street, near the apartment building, Village Pines.
“Apparently, there were a couple of cars at the stop sign, so he tried to cut through a parking lot,” Orchard Park Lt. Joseph Ray said Saturday. “He probably didn’t realize there was a pole until he was aiming right at it.”
Johnson continued driving the gray 2004 Chevrolet Impala, which was last seen by witnesses heading west on Route 20A toward Route 219. A computer message with a description of the car and a possible license plate number was sent to neighboring police agencies.
At 2:50 p.m., the vehicle was stopped by Buffalo Police Officer Thomas Cino in the parking lot of the Rite Aid pharmacy at 291 W. Ferry St., police said.
Johnson was returned to Orchard Park police, who charged him with first-degree robbery and various vehicle and traffic law violations.
Following arraignment before Village Justice Daniel B. Kane, Johnson was sent to the Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $15,000 bail. A felony hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Anyone who witnessed the crime is asked to call Detective John Payne at 662-6475, Ext. 4015.
In the Hamburg case, a Clifton Parkway resident arrived home on the morning of April 22 to find a vehicle in the driveway and a man standing next to it with a hammer sticking out of his rear pocket, the Hamburg Sun newspaper reported at the time.
The suspect – later identified as Johnson – left the scene, but the resident discovered the home had been broken into and money was stolen.
Police traced the licence plate number of the suspect’s vehicle, which eventually led them to Johnson’s Elmtree residence, where he was charged with felony second-degree burglary, petit larceny and possession of burglary tools, the Hamburg paper reported.
The outcome of those charges was not immediately known on Saturday.