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Police: Purse thief held knife to woman's neck

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Posted at 4:10 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 20:18:35-04

A Cheektowaga man is behind bars after police say he attempted to rob two women at knife point.

Police say 36-year-old Christopher Gawel held a knife to a 57-year-old woman's neck before taking her purse. It happened just after 6 p.m. on June 21 in the parking lot of Tops Thruway Plaza.

Investigators say Gawel then tried to rob another woman in a different Tops parking lot, this time on Harlem Road in West Seneca, shortly after the first robbery.

Gawel is charged with first degree robbery, attempted robbery, attempted grand larceny and criminal mischief.

He is currently in custody and awaiting arraignment in both Cheektowaga and West Seneca Town Courts.