BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Five teenagers have been indicted for a number of armed robberies in Buffalo, Amherst and the Town of Tonawanda that appear to have targeted Muslims.
Jaylan Holliday, 18 of Buffalo, and a 17 year-old co-defendant are charged with first and second-degree robbery. According to prosecutors, the defendants opened the driver's side door of a car parked outside a convenience store on Niagara Street in Buffalo on July 30 and punched the driver in her face. They then stole her wallet.
Investigators say Holliday later attempted to rob a gas station on Bailey Avenue at gunpoint. The attendant showed a knife and Holliday left the scene.
In a separate case, investigators have charged Martez Smalls, 18 of Buffalo, and a 15 year-old male with five counts of first-degree robbery. According to prosecutors, the defendants, along with a 16-year-old male, stole a cellphone and wallet from a victim on Highland Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda on July 27.
Investigators say the defendants then robbed four Muslim victims at gunpoint on Capen Boulevard in Amherst, stealing cellphones, wallets and two vehicles. One of the stolen vehicles was later involved in a crash that happened when one of the defendants tried to get away from police.
The indictments follow an investigation by the Erie County District Attorney's Office and Buffalo Police Department into robberies that appeared to target members of the Muslim community on Buffalo's East Side.