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Press Release

Rochester Man Sentenced For Robbing Three Tops Supermarkets

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:            (716) 843-5817
FAX:                  (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., announced today that Tyrelis Austin, 23, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted of robbing three Tops Marketplace stores in 2012, 2013 and 2014, was sentenced to 54 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,030.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who is handling the case, stated that on November 25, 2012, Austin robbed the Tops store located at 1100 Jefferson Road in Henrietta; on July 29, 2013, the defendant robbed the Tops store located at 3507 Mt. Read Boulevard in Greece; and, on March 28, 2014, he robbed the Tops store located at 270 East Main Street in Avon, New York. According to the complaint, on each occasion, the defendant threatened to shoot store employees if they did not comply with his request to empty the cash registers located at the service desks of each store.

After robbing the Tops store in Avon, Austin led deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department on a high speed chase on Route 390 northbound.  Ultimately, the defendant’s vehicle crashed into a ditch on Route 390 near the Chili Avenue exit. Deputies arrested Austin at the scene and discovered a large amount of cash, as well as the black hooded sweatshirt, wig and baseball cap that he wore into the store. Deputies also discovered two handwritten notes which stated “put all the money in the bag or I will shoot you.” In a post-arrest statement to police, Austin admitted his involvement in all three robberies.

In November 2014, Austin’s cousin, Derek Stanin, was sentenced to 51 months on similar charges, including the robbery of three Tops Supermarkets located in the Rochester, New York area.  

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Patrick O’Flynn, the Avon Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gary Benedict, and the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Phelan.

Updated January 7, 2015