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Bell ringer charged with armed robbery of West Seneca Subway

Posted at 10:13 AM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 10:13:16-05

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Salvation Army bell ringer has been charged with the armed robbery of a Subway location, according to the West Seneca Police Department.

Police say 27-year-old Bryan Garciasilvestri, of Buffalo, is charged with first degree robbery, second degree assault, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a weapon, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, petit larceny and two other violation level offenses.

Officers were called to the Subway at 1900 Ridge Road around 7 p.m. on Saturday for a reported armed robbery.

Investigators say Garciasilvestri entered the store, jumped over the counter and demanded the money in the register. An employee told police that they were attempting to open the register when Garciasilvestri slashed their arm with a knife, inflicting a serious laceration.

According to police, Garciasilvestri grabbed another employee’s purse and the tip jar and ran away through the parking lot.

While searching for the suspect, officers located a man matching the description of Garciasilvestri, who was working as a bell ringer for The Salvation Army at a nearby retail store.

Police say when confronted by officers, he immediately began fighting with the officer and was attempting to run. Garciasilvestri was eventually subdued after the officer deployed his Taser.

According to police, Garciasilvestri was taken into custody. He was arraigned in West Seneca Justice Court and held on $100,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond and taken to the Erie County Holding Center.

Garciasilvestri is due back in West Seneca Court at a later date.

Police say the victim of the robbery was taken to Erie County Medical Center where they were treated for their injury. The officer who arrested Garciasilvestri also sustained minor facial lacerations and a shoulder injury during the confrontation. He returned back to work immediately.