Police: Dangerous suspect was caught 'hiding like a coward'
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A man suspected in numerous robberies in Syracuse, including a home invasion on Sedgwick Drive, has been arrested.
Mario Clark, 40, who police warned was armed and dangerous, was caught by the New York/New Jersey Regional Task Force in an apartment complex in Brockport - a small city outside of Rochester - on Thursday morning at 7 a.m., according to Syracuse Police.
Police say Clark has prior convictions - robbery, criminal possession of stolen property, and petit larceny - in Erie County and in the City of Buffalo.
When Syracuse Police escalated their efforts to catch Clark, he tried to escape to Western New York.
“Like the coward that he is, he fled the city. But we continued to go after him, just like we will anyone else,” said Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler. "He wasn't going to stop until we stopped him."
When Clark saw law enforcement agents, he ran into another building. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said that Clark was found moments later “hiding like a coward.”
He was then transported to the Onondaga County Justice Center where he was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday morning.
Along with Syracuse Police, the Buffalo Police Department are investigating Clark in connection to at least one crime, but he has not been charged.
In Syracuse, Clark targeted the older people and people he knew.
"Here we have a person that was terrorizing a neighborhood. And he was targeting elderly citizens," Fowler said.
With Clark in custody, Sedgwick residents say they're breathing a little more easily.
“Relief to know he's finally caught and put away where he belongs,” said Mary Tygart of Sedgwick.
“It's about time - we're relieved,” said Sedgwick resident Patrick Magoon.
Police say Clark became more and more dangerous with each alleged crime.
- Dec. 13, 2010: According to police, Clark was inside a home on Eldorado Street where he was being paid by an 80-year-old woman for shoveling snow. When she walked out of the room, he stole $120. He is being charged with petit larceny in that case.
- Feb. 12, 2011: Police say Clark was at a home at 115 Clifton Place. He was shoveling snow for a 58-year-old male victim. He went inside to be paid. When the man came out of the bathroom, he pushed him against the wall, demanded cash and took his wallet. He is charged with burglary and robbery.
- Morning of May 20, 2011: Police say Clark was at 101 Sedgwick Dr. He was invited inside by 60-year-old female victim he had done work for in the past. He shoved her and stole her wallet, which had $142 inside of it. He has been charged with burglary and robbery.
- Afternoon of May 20, 2011: Police believe Clark was at 15 Brattle Rd. He asked for water from a 56-year-old female. When she let him in, he put her in a chokehold and took her to the second floor. They ran into the woman's friend, a 79-year-old woman, and he put her in a chokehold too. He then demanded money and left with $125. He has been charged with burglary, two counts of robbery, and two counts of unlawful imprisonment.