Ithaca Police arrested an Ithaca man on Wednesday and accused him of committing three armed robberies in and around Ithaca in a one-week period. The three stick-ups were among at least seven armed robberies in Tompkins County in less than two months that concerned police and residents.
Police arrested Curt Rosenfeld, a 32-year-old Ithaca resident, and charged him with three felony counts of robbery in the first degree. The three robberies — at Shortstop Deli on Christmas Eve, Byrne Dairy on Dec. 19 and Mirabito Convenience Store in Dryden on Dec. 17 — all involved a white male displaying what appeared to be a gun and fleeing with cash and, in one case, cigarettes.
“It’s like one after the other,” Sgt. Matthew Cowen said on Sunday after the Quik Shoppe gas station on Ithaca’s Northside was robbed by a man who police said displayed a gun tucked in his waistband. There is no indication as of yet that Rosenfeld is connected to the Sunday robbery, but the string of minor heists of local businesses is unusual for Ithaca in recent years.
Officer Jamie Williamson, a spokesperson for the department, said in a statement that police recovered a pellet gun from Rosenfeld’s residence that police believe was used in all three of the robberies. Rosenfeld is charged with a Class B felony that makes it a crime to steal property and display “what appears to be” a firearm.
Williamson said that clothing and other items relating to the robberies were also recovered during the search of Rosenfeld’s residence.
Chief Pete Tyler said he created a task force drawing on law enforcement members from the Cornell University Police Department, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, FBI and Ithaca College public safety department to aid Ithaca Police in the department’s investigation.
“With resources stretched thin, it’s nice to be able to count on area law enforcement to consolidate resources to work more efficiently towards the end result,” Tyler told The Sun on Wednesday night. “Today was a good example of that.”
Tyler said in a statement that “old-fashioned police work solved these cases and I am glad we all worked together to accomplish the goal of arresting the perpetrator of these crimes.”
Rosenfeld was arraigned in the Town of Dryden Court for the three robberies and is being held at the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail, a corrections supervisor at the jail confirmed on Wednesday night.
Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 said in a statement that the teamwork of the agencies involved “enabled them to close out these cases.”
“It certainly is a job well done by everyone involved,” he said.
Rosenfeld pleaded guilty last May in New Jersey to charges of providing a false driver’s license number to a law enforcement officer and driving with a suspended license, the New Jersey Herald reported.