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Man allegedly stated he had a bomb during attempted robbery at Chautauqua Mall

Posted at 3:29 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 15:29:40-05

LAKEWOOD, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Lakewood-Busti Police Department said officers responded to the Banter by Piercing Pagoda kiosk at the Chautauqua Mall for a robbery in progress around 12:50 p.m. Monday.

The suspect allegedly stated he had a bomb and to do as he asked. He was initially described as a black male wearing a grey hoodie who was last seen by the exit near the public bathrooms.

Police said a white male, 34-year-old Michael C. Lee, was found in the bathroom but did not match the suspect's description. Officers continued to investigate and later returned to the bathroom to find the suspect's clothing and cleaning wipes with dark stains.

According to police, it is believed that Lee disguised himself as a black male by using dark makeup in an attempt to hide his facial tattoos.

Lee was located after he allegedly attempted to shoplift from Walmart and he was found on Crystal Avenue a few streets away.

He was charged with third-degree robbery and petit larceny and released with an appearance ticket.