On Friday, November 24th, 2023, at about 6:00 pm The New Hartford Police Department responded to The Sierra Store located at 4805 Commercial Drive for a report of a fight in progress.
Upon arrival, it was reported to responding officers that two women who were in The Sierra Store had selected a quantity of store merchandise and then began to exit without making any attempt to pay for the items. During the course of this incident, one female later identified as Niviera Lawrence, age 20, of Utica, pictured below, and a second female not yet identified began a physical altercation with the store employees and fled into the parking lot with a quantity of store merchandise.
While in the parking lot, Lawrence and the second female suspect were confronted by a woman who was waiting in her vehicle in the same parking lot. Lawrence knocked this female to the ground in the parking lot and both suspects fled the parking lot in a vehicle with the stolen merchandise.
Officers searched the surrounding area for the vehicle but it was not found. Responding Officers processed the scene, collected evidence, and interviewed witnesses. The case was then assigned to New Hartford Police Department Criminal Investigation Division and investigators were able to identify Lawrence.
On January 9th, 2024 The United States Marshal’s Service - New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force (NY/NJ RFTF) was able to develop a possible location in Utica where the suspect was staying. The Marshal’s Task Force which is comprised of members of the United States Marshal’s Service, New Hartford Police, Utica Police, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Oneida County Probation Department, New York State Police, and New York State Parole apprehended Lawrence.
Lawrence was transported to the New Hartford Police Department and turned over to Investigators who brought Lawrence to Oneida County Centralized Arraignment Part Court. Lawrence was arraigned on one count of Robbery in The Second Degree, a class C Felony. Lawrence was released pending future court proceedings regarding the Robbery Charge. The investigation is ongoing into the second suspect in this case.