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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rochester Men Charged with Robberies of Tops Markets


       ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., announced today that Tyrelis Austin, 22, of Rochester, N.Y., was charged by criminal complaint with the robbery of three Tops Marketplace stores in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who is handling the case, stated that Austin is charged with the November 25, 2012 robbery of the Tops store located at 1100 Jefferson Road in Henrietta; the July 29, 2013 robbery of the Tops store located at 3507 Mt. Read Boulevard in Greece; and, the March 28, 2014 robbery of 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.

Austin’s arrest follows the January 4, 2014 apprehension of the defendant’s cousin, Derek Stanin, 21, also of Rochester. Stanin is accused of robbing the Tops Marketplace store located at 3507 Mt. Read Boulevard in Greece. In that case, store clerks were able to introduce marked bills and a GPS tracker into the monies turned over to Stanin. The GPS tracker allowed law enforcement to quickly locate Stanin hiding in a parked vehicle. Police located a large sum of case as well as clothes that Stanin wore during the robbery. The defendant was also found to be in possession of a replica .357 pellet gun in his right pant leg. Similar to Austin, Stanin was also charged with robbery.

The criminal complaint 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.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Updated December 2, 2014