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Man Appreciated for Act of Brave During Store Robbery

Miguel Lopez

Left to Right; Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode honor Thomas Mabon (2nd left) for his act of bravery with Gates Town Supervisor Cosmo Giunta (3rd left) and additional Gates Town officials, Gates Police. Photo: Miguel Lopez.

Gates man, Thomas Mabon was recently presented with a certificate of appreciation by the Town of Gates and Gates Police, after he bravely intervened in a robbery at a local gas station.

The incident took place at a Speedway on Elmgrove Road around 4:30 in the morning, in late October. Mabon, who said he regularly visits the Speedway to get energy drinks before work, said he was near the back of the store when he first heard the cashier yell for the police to be called. 

The suspect, Jeffery Tondryk, was convicted of murder in the late 80’s, tried to rob the Speedway for beer at knife point. 

Tondryk, who was later re-arrested, only left the store with beer. Mabon’s brave act protected the store’s cashier, who was in the process of calling the police. 

When he was asked by local reporters how it felt to be able to help keep his community safe and be honored by the town, he said, “It feels good, it feels good. I think more people should act and leave their phones in their pockets. It doesn’t help anybody. I’m not doing it for likes. I’m doing it for the people in that store.”

Tondryk, 56 years old, served 29 years behind bars for a 1989 murder where he was convicted of beating a man to death with a hammer and a rock. He was released on lifetime parole in June 2018, which Gates police said lead to Tondryk absconding parole, and that where they could not find him for about a month, until now. 

When the robbery occurred, Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode said that he called the U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force in the City of Rochester, that found Tondryk the following Tuesday after the robbery.

VanBrederode was again critical of the Less is More Act and seemed to lament the resources available for parole officers. He was not critical of the parole officers themselves, more so the reform laws that he believes is leading Rochester to look like what he describes as “the wild west.” He believes the reform laws only keep people out of jail, and said “what we would love for reform is real programs that can help people survive when they come out of jail.”

Mabon was also given a Speedway gift card for his help.