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Armed robbery suspect makes first court appearance

Kaci Jones
Updated: September 19, 2019 08:43 AM
Created: September 18, 2019 11:38 PM

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WHEC) — Authorities have captured and charged 28-year-old Brandon Burgess with second-degree robbery and third-degree grand larceny. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. 

Deputies say he was on the run for a little more than a day after he robbed a 7-Eleven in Phelps before he was finally caught in Seneca County. 

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Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts says Burgess may have had plans to evade authorities for a long time.

"He had a number of locations, not sure the exact number, but what appeared to be hideout locations," Ritts said. "These were places it's alleged he was hiding to avoid apprehension."

Burgess has several YouTube videos where he claims he can't be caught. When he was captured Wednesday, he had shaved his face and head. 

Court documents show Burgess stole more than $3,100 worth of construction tools early Wednesday morning. 

Deputies have also confirmed Burgess called News10NBC on our newsroom line. An assignment editor answered the phone, and after the call she reported the vague threat to police.

"You can be famous or infamous there’s a tremendous difference," Ritts said. "If you choose to announce your crimes and put them on social media the things you want to do, then do them you become infamous and that's not a good thing."

Burgess has less than 300 subscribers on YouTube, but in court Wednesday he called himself a social media star. In his video posted Sept. 15 before his crime spree, he talks about "taking" someone. He does not go into detail about who or what that means, but he does mention Lyons. Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts says extra precautions were taken to protect the community as a result.

"We did not believe there was anyone in school to be a threat, but it was the walkers walking home and the students going home to community bus stops," Virts said.

On Tuesday, three school districts in Wayne County went into lockout and deputies escorted school buses home. Lyons schools closed for the day on Wednesday. Authorities are still investigating to see if Burgess can be charged with any other crimes. As Burgess left the courtroom Wednesday night, he had a message for his family.

"Part of what he said when he left today, the concern about having someone monetize this, and that this is not over… we will continue to investigate that aspect of it," Ritts said.

Burgess is being held in the Ontario County Jail on $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bond. The case will be presented to a grand jury Thursday. He is due back in court Monday at noon.

If convicted, Burgess could face a maximum of 15 years in jail for the robbery charge and three and a half to seven years for the grand larceny charge.


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