MANCHESTER — A city man who tried to rob three West Side stores is being held on $20,000 cash-only bail.
On Monday, Robert Oxley, 31, told a Circuit Court-Manchester District Division judge that he’s homeless.
“That’s why I did it,” Oxley told Judge William Lyons, explaining he was trying to get money so he could get a place to live.
Police said Oxley’s first target was Crosstown Variety, 77 Bremer St., about 6 p.m. Friday.
When the Crosstown clerk refused to give the robber money, he said he had a gun and would shoot her. She still refused to hand over any cash and said she was going to call police.
The would-be robber fled, but didn’t go too far. His next target was the Bremer Street Food Mart, 218 Bremer St., where the clerk not only refused to hand over money, but also chased the robber out of the store.
Given the two robbery attempts in close proximity and within a brief time span, Manchester Police Officer Tony Battistelli headed to a potential robbery target, Uncle Bob’s Market, 435 Kelley St.
As he pulled up, he saw a man matching the description of the robber enter the store and walk to the counter where the clerk was standing.
The clerk at Uncle Bob’s was the only one who did as police have advised. When the robber said he had a gun and ordered the clerk to open the cash registers, the clerk did just that. The clerk said the robber then fled with an undetermined amount of cash.
But the robber didn’t get far. Battistelli saw him flee the store and gave chase. It took the use of a Taser, but Battistelli was finally able to take Oxley into custody.
In addition to the three felony robbery charges, Oxley was charged with resisting arrest. Because no plea can be entered to a felony in Circuit Court, a probable cause hearing was set for Feb. 24.
There will be a status hearing on the resisting arrest charge that day.