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Massena man charged following robbery at Alkie’s Liquor Store


MASSENA - Just more than $50 and one-and-a-half suboxone pills was all it took to land a Massena man in custody after he allegedly robbed Alkie’s Liquor Store on North Main Street in Massena Tuesdat night.

Just less than 24 hours after the robbery took place Brian D. LaPrade, 24, of 52 North Main St. was arraigned on charges of third-degree robbery and petit larceny. The robbery charge is a Class D felony.

In a signed statement he gave to police, LaPrade admitted to the robbery, noting it was something he thought about for about an hour before gathering up enough courage to follow through with his plan.

“I was sitting around my house at around 8 or 8:30 p.m. and was thinking about robbing a place for money,” he said. “I know this was a stupid idea, and I am sorry for doing this.”

LaPrade said after much internal debate he dressed in layers and went for a walk up North Main Street.

“I got dressed in layers of clothing and was wearing a white hoodie with two jackets over it, a pair of jeans with dark colored sweat pants, winter gloves, winter hat and I was wearing Nike Air Force One sneakers, black in color. I was carrying a pair of boots tucked in the front of my jackets,” he said. “I left my apartment and started walking up North Main Street and was going to visit my uncle who lives across the street from Alkie’s Liquor Store.”

While walking to his uncle’s house, LaPrade said he changed his mind and decided to rob the liquor store.

“I walked out back of the liquor store and took the wife beater T-shirt and wrapped my face with it. I walked up to the front door of the liquor store and opened the outside door and stood there thinking if I wanted to do this,” he recalled. “After about 30 seconds I entered the store and the worker said, ‘Hi’ to me. I said, ‘Hi,’ back to her and then told her, ‘Can I have the money in the register please?’ She asked me if I was serious, and I told her, ‘Yes Mam (sic).’”

In addition to leaving the store with either $52 or $55 - his statement varied from the store employee’s - LaPrade also asked for and was given the store’s phone.

“I ran out back of the liquor store and headed out behind the houses heading back towards my apartment,” he said, adding he got rid of the phone and shed his clothing along the way.

“I tossed the phone right out back of the liquor store into the snow. Out back of a house on North Main Street I stuffed the wife beater shirt behind a wood pile, ditched a coat behind a house and walked up the driveway and took off the dark colored sweatpants and left them in a snowbank at the sidewalk. I then crossed the street and kicked off the sneakers and they went flying somewhere in the snow, and I changed into my boots and went home.

When leaving the liquor store, LaPrade said he called “a person he knew” to purchase some suboxone.

“I purchased one-and-a-half suboxone for $55,” he said. “This was all the money I got from the worker at the liquor store.”

In her statement to police, Vicki L. Burnett, Norfolk, who was working at the store said she gave LaPrade $52.

Ms. Burnett said she was working alone at the store and was considering closing early when the robber entered the store.

“The man had a higher sounding voice and said, ‘I’m gonna need you to give me your money,’ and then I said, ‘Are you serious?’The man then said, ‘Yes maam, I’m sorry, but I’m gonna need you to give me your money.’ I said, ‘Seriously?’ again and then I gave him the money,” she recalled.

After being give all of the money in the register, Ms. Burnett said the suspect then began walking away, before turning around and asking for the store’s phone, which she gave him.

“He asked me if I had a cell phone and I told him, ‘No.’ The man then walked out of the store. I pressed the panic button locked the door and then called 911 with my cell phone.”

LaPrade was arraigned before Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility on $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 25.

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