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SANBORN – A gas station convenience store on Saunders Settlement Road has been held up for a fourth time since March, police said.

The latest armed robbery at Sanborn Family Mart, a Valero gas station, 2939 Saunders Settlement Road at Route 429, happened at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday when a man with a handgun entered the station, demanded cash and fled with an unknown amount of money.

A witness who followed him out of the store told police he headed north on Route 429 in an older Toyota or Mitsubishi with four doors and out-of-state license plates. State police, Lewiston police and Niagara County sheriff’s deputies searched the area but did not find the vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police Investigator Ryan Shanahan at 297-8730.

Police have been called to the Sanborn Family Mart for three other robberies.

At 1:20 a.m. March 7, a man wearing a white hockey mask demanded money but did not display a weapon and fled with $100 and Newport cigarettes toward the nearby Niagara County Community College campus. Sheriff’s deputies found a black baseball bat, black hat and black sneaker near the college that they believed belonged to the suspect, but they did not find him.

The store was also robbed June 26 and 28.

Two men entered the store at about 3 a.m. June 26. One man displayed a handgun, then both fled with cash and merchandise. Sheriff’s deputies, assisted by Lewiston police and state police, established a perimeter but were unable to find the robbers.

June 28, a man with a knife robbed the store at 2 a.m. and fled with $200 cash. A clerk was able to give a description of the vehicle, which was then located by sheriff’s deputies on Lockport Road. Danny P. Merritt, 33, of Murphy Road, Lockport, was charged with first-degree robbery after he was identified by the clerk.

Merritt had already been accused of robbing a Sunoco convenience store May 5 at South Transit and Robinson roads in Lockport. He had been free on $20,000 bail in that case, but his bail was increased to $75,000 when he appeared before Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III in the new case July 2.

Merritt, who is an admitted cocaine user, according to Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell, remains in Niagara County Jail.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com