ITHACA, N.Y. — A robbery on the Ithaca Commons Thursday night led to one arrest and left a store employee with minor injuries, police say.

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The alleged crime happened at 7:15 p.m. at the Benjamin Peters clothing store on the east side of the Commons.

Police said  Ithaca man Donald T. Hicks, 24, stole more than $500 worth of merchandise from the store and fled westbound on the Commons when confronted by a store employee. While leaving the area, Hicks dropped an item, which was picked up by the male employee.

That’s when police say Hicks started a physical confrontation, leaving the employee with minor injuries. The employee later declined medical treatment.

Hicks was taken into custody police responding to the scene saw a fight happening on the Commons. Officers said that Hicks, who’d left the store employee after attacking him, was involved in the second fight as well.

In a news release, police said, “This individual refused to comply with officers’ directives and attempted to flee the investigation into the incidents, having to be forcibly detained.” No officers reporter injuries as of early Friday morning.

Hicks was charged with felony third-degree robbery and misdemeanors for obstruction of governmental administration and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

He is being held without bail at the Tompkins County Jail  after being arraigned in front of Judge Richard Wallace at Ithaca City Court. He’s scheduled to appear in court again on May 11.

The following is the news release from the Ithaca Police Department in its entirety:

On Thursday, May 5th, at approximately 7:15 PM, officers of the Ithaca Police Department were called to respond to the business of Benjamin Peters men’s clothing store for the report of a theft in progress during which the suspect was reported to be engaged in a physical altercation with one of the store’s employees.

Officers were provided a description of the suspect and advised that he fled westbound on the Ithaca Commons. Responding officers checked the area and observed a fight in progress near the intersection of W. State St. and N. Geneva St.

Officers addressed the parties that were fighting and found that one of the combatants involved matched the description provided of the suspect of the theft from Benjamin Peters. This individual refused to comply with officers’ directives and attempted to flee the investigation into the incidents, having to be forcibly detained.

Officers ultimately identified Mr. Donald T. Hicks, a 24 year old male, of Ithaca, NY, as one of the persons engaged in the dispute at W. State St. and S. Geneva St. and also the suspect believed to be the perpetrator of the robbery of Benjamin Peters.

Mr. Hicks reportedly concealed items from Benjamin Peters and after being confronted by an employee, fled the store and continued westbound on the Ithaca Commons. Mr. Hicks reportedly dropped an item while in flight, which was recovered by the store employee.

Mr. Hicks turned to confront the employee and attacked him (the employee), initiating a physical altercation.

Mr. Hicks was found to be in possession of multiple items of Benjamin Peters merchandise, having a total value of over $500.00.

Mr. Hicks was arrested and charged with Robbery in the 3rd degree, a class D felony; Obstruction on Governmental Administration, a class A misdemeanor; and Criminal possession of stolen property in the 5th degree, a class A misdemeanor.

Mr. Hicks was arraigned before the Honorable Judge Richard M. Wallace and remanded to the Tompkins County Jail with no bail, with a return to the Ithaca City Court scheduled for Wednesday, May 11th at 2:30 PM.

The Benjamin Peters associate who was the victim of the attack suffered only minor injuries and did not require emergency medical care as of the time of this press release. No Ithaca Police Officers have reported injuries as of this press release.

The other parties involved in the altercation at W. State St. and S. Geneva St. requested no further police action.

Any persons with any information about this incident are encouraged to contact the Ithaca Police Department Investigations Division through the following means:

Police Dispatch: 607-272-3245

Police Administration: 607-272-9973

Crime Stoppers Tipline: 607-697-0333

Drug Tipline: 607-330-0000

Email Tip Address:



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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.