Police have arrested a Newark man accused of committing four robberies or attempted robberies over a two-week span.
Shane Kudlick, 21, was arrested Sunday, according to Master Cpl. William Smith, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department.
All four of the incidents happened on South Main Street near the police station.
The first occurred just before noon on June 23 at the Sunoco gas station next to the Park N Shop. Kudlick approached the sales counter and demanded money while threatening a clerk with a hammer and smashing the counter with the hammer, according to court documents. He then grabbed $159 in cash before running out of the store.
At 4:20 a.m. July 5, Kudlick entered a nearby 7-Eleven while screaming “money, money, money” and displaying a knife, court records indicate. Fearing for his safety, the clerk ran out of the store, and Kudlick tried, but failed, to open the cash register, authorities reported.
The clerk confronted Kudlick in the parking lot, and Kudlick shoved him to the ground before fleeing, police said. The clerk was not injured.
Kudlick then returned to the Sunoco at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The clerk shut the cash register drawer and ran out of the store. Unable to get cash, Kudlick grabbed 10 packs of Newport cigarettes and a Snickers bar before fleeing, according to court records.
The clerk in that incident recognized the robber as a frequent customer and told police the robber used to deliver pizzas in a red car, court documents indicate.
Meanwhile, detectives investigating the robberies determined they were committed by the same person because of surveillance footage showing that after each robbery, the perpetrator ran down an alley behind Lincoln Drive to the Studio Green apartments, located just a couple blocks from the Sunoco and the 7-Eleven.
After hearing the clerk’s description of the suspect’s car, one of the police officers recalled responding to a car crash in April that involved a pizza deliveryman in a red car. He pulled up the accident report, which identified the driver as Kudlick, according to court records. Using a law enforcement database, he determined that Kudlick matched the description of the robber and lives at Studio Green – meaning police finally knew the identity of their robbery suspect.
At around 6:30 a.m. Sunday – less than 24 hours later – Kudlick robbed the Sunoco a third time, displaying a knife and grabbing $180 from the cash register, court records show.
Upon hearing the report of the robbery, officers rushed to Studio Green hoping to catch Kudlick returning to his apartment. They didn’t see him but heard voices inside his apartment. Four hours later, with a SWAT team surrounding the apartment, Kudlick came outside and surrendered.
Detectives searched the apartment and found the clothes Kudlick was seen wearing on surveillance footage of the robberies.
In an interview with police, Kudlick admitted to two of the Sunoco robberies but claimed to not remember the third, according to court records.
Kudlick was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree attempted robbery, one count of second-degree robbery, three counts of possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony and two counts of wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony.
He was jailed in lieu of $123,000 secured bond.