DATE/TIME: Monday, November 7th, 2005 / 12:45 PM

A 37-year-old Schenectady man released from state prison less than 3 weeks ago has been arrested for robbing 2 city gas stations in less than 24 hours.

Christopher Bell, of 552 Crane Street, was arrested at his residence at 10:30 Sunday night after he had an argument with his sister that patrol officers were called to.

The first robbery occurred on Saturday night at 11 p.m. at the Holmes & Kugler gas station at 127 Erie Boulevard. Bell entered the store and asked the clerk for cigarettes. When the clerk opened the cash register, Bell demanded the money. Bell then pulled out an unknown metal object, reached into the register and took money from it. He then ran from the store. No one was injured in the incident.

On Sunday afternoon at about 5:30 p.m., Bell entered the Tel Oil gas station at 585 Broadway and demanded money from that clerk. As Bell began to pull a stick from his jacket, the clerk struggled with him. During the struggle, Bell grabbed a pair of scissors, held them to the clerk and ordered him to open the register. The clerk complied and Bell took the money and ran from the store. The clerk was not injured.

The robbery cases were solved by observant patrol officers responding to a domestic incident Bell had with his sister at their residence at about 8:30 Sunday night. She called police to report that they had a verbal argument, but Bell was gone when police arrived. The physical description of Bell

that his sister gave the officers matched the robber’s and their residence is located just blocks from both gas stations. The officers were unable to locate Bell at the time, but his sister called back at 10:15 to report that he had returned home. When officers arrived, Bell was in the attic and tried to escape through a window. He was taken into custody after a brief struggle.

Bell is charged with 2 counts of Robbery-1st degree. He was arraigned in Police Court and remanded to the Schenectady County Jail.

Bell was released from Downstate Correctional Facility on October 19th after serving nearly 8 years for a Schenectady gas station robbery he committed in September 1997. At the time of that robbery, Bell was on parole for a 1994 Schenectady gas station robbery.