Two armed robbery suspects arrested
Saranac Lake man among 2 charged
SARANAC LAKE — Police on Sunday arrested the second of two suspects from an armed robbery in Plattsburgh, a day after a major police mobilization took over a Saranac Lake neighborhood.
Plattsburgh city police identified the second suspect as Sabbath McGregor, 20, of Chase Mills, St. Lawrence County. The other, Michael Johnson, 24, of Saranac Lake, was arrested Saturday afternoon on Saranac Lake’s Bloomingdale Road. Police did not say where or what time they arrested McGregor.
Both stand charged with first-degree robbery and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, felonies, as well as petit larceny, a misdemeanor. Johnson was arraigned in Plattsburgh City Court on Sunday and sent to the Clinton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $250,000 bond. McGregor is to be arraigned Monday.
The robbery took place around 1 a.m. Saturday at an apartment at 70 Margaret St. in Plattsburgh, according to that city’s police Lt. Brad Kiroy.
“A resident reported that two men came into his house displaying weapons, one being a handgun, and other being … pepper spray, which he described as mace, demanding money,” Kiroy said. The resident said he gave the two men cash — police did not say how much — and they fled on foot.
The alleged victim told police he recognized Johnson, whom he knows, as one of the robbers, and police determined that Johnson lives in Saranac Lake, Kiroy said. That eventually led them to a split-level house house at 16 Rockledge Lane, near Moody Pond in Saranac Lake. Neither Kiroy nor Capt. Robert LaFountain, head of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation for state police Troop B, could answer whether Johnson lives in that house. Essex County property records show it is owned by Lillian Cavallo, who owns the Belvedere bar on Bloomingdale Avenue. She could not be reached.
Saranac Lake village police, state police and Plattsburgh police responded to the house and blocked off Rockledge as well as part of Forest Hill Avenue, requiring residents of those areas who were not home to wait some time before returning. State police used its military-style Special Operations Response Team, with its armored Bearcat vehicle and K-9 dog unit, to establish a perimeter around the house. A state police helicopter circled over the village for a period of time. Police could be heard speaking into a megaphone from more than a block away.
The police presence temporarily dominated the Moody Pond neighborhood, which includes the trailhead to popular Mount Baker. At the corner of Forest Hill Avenue and Stevenson Lane, two state troopers, one carrying a rifle, calmly told drivers they could not continue forward for the time being. Some neighbors, waiting to go home, joined reporters standing on the street corner there. Some had family members stuck in their homes on Rockledge.
It wasn’t on Rockledge, however, that police apprehended Johnson; they found him walking along state Route 3 by the Saranac River, according to Kiroy and LaFountain. After he was taken into custody, police reopened the Moody Pond neighborhood roads to traffic.
After the SORT team packed up, two or three state troopers and a Plattsburgh police officer remained posted outside 16 Rockledge Lane to secure the scene.