PATERSON, NJ - Police arrested a 21-year Berkshire Avenue man on Wednesday night and charged him in connection with two armed robberies that happened minutes earlier in the 2nd Ward, said Lt. Richard Reyes.
Police got some help from a quick-thinking attendant at the gas station at the corner of McBride and Murray avenues. The attendant spotted a suspicious man near the station at about 10:15 pm and called police, Reyes said. As a result, patrol cars already were on their way to the scene when the suspect pulled a gun and robbed the attendant, Reyes said.
Several officers arrived at the station just after the suspect fled and the attendant showed them the direction in which he had gone, Reyes said. Police Officer Terry Duffy spotted a man rush through an alley several blocks away and hop into a beige Camry, Reyes said. Duffy was able to determine that the man, Shamir Belton, was the suspect who robbed the gas station, Reyes said.
Det. Sgt. David Rios then determined that Belton also had committed another armed robbery that night at 10 pm at a store at 81 Wayne Avenue, Reyes said. In that case, Belton allegedly pulled a gun on two store employees and took the money from the register, according to police.