Four men arrested for their roles in two robberies Monday evening in Salina are linked to several other similar recent robberies around Syracuse, Cortland, DeWitt and Geddes.
35-year-old Ali Bloodworth, 34-year-old Saleem Bloodworth, 28-year-old James Hines and 27-year-old James Warren, all of Syracuse, face robbery and grand larceny charges.
Onondaga County sheriff's deputies were first called to the Rite Aid in the Shop City Plaza around 6 p.m. Monday evening on reports of a robbery. Investigators say three men stole several cartons of cigarettes and one of them threatened the store clerk with a weapon. A fourth man drove the getaway vehicle.
While deputies were at the Rite Aid talking to the store clerk, witnesses, and watching back surveillance video, another robbery was reported less than five miles away around 7:30 p.m.. This time, a Byrne Dairy convenience store on Brewerton Road was targeted. Once again, several cartons of cigarettes were taken, and another store clerk was threatened with a weapon.
Through similar accounts of what happened and identifying the suspects in surveillance video, investigators determined the same group of men were involved. Then, through talking to neighboring police agencies, they were able to trace the four men to a handful of other similar robberies around the area.
The four men were held overnight in the county jail and were expected to be arraigned Thursday morning.
Right now, Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies are working closely with the Syracuse, DeWitt, Geddes and Cortland Police departments to find out what other stores these men may have targeted. New York State Police are also assisting in the investigation.