An elderly man recovered his wallet after chasing the bicycle-riding, knife-wielding robber who'd stolen it from him, police said.
But, police said, the robber still managed to get the cash -- though not for long.
The victim, an 88-year-old man, was not injured in the robbery, the first of three similar robberies that occurred in North Bellport between Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday morning, Suffolk County police said.
Police said the robber was arrested more than 12 hours later, after the third robbery, and the cash was recovered.
Michael Bagley, 22, of North Bellport, was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree attempted robbery and third-degree robbery. A watch stolen during the third robbery, at 1 a.m., also was recovered during the arrest.
Court records show Bagley pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in 2007 and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. An order of protection was issued in the case. Bagley also pleaded guilty to reckless driving in 2012 -- and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
The recent robberies occurred between 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and 1 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
The first robbery, involving the elderly man, occurred about 1:30 p.m. on Cedar Street. The second in the pattern occurred about 11:30 p.m. on Brookhaven Avenue, when a 50-year-old man was approached by a man on a bike who displayed a knife and then demanded cash.
That robbery was thwarted when a neighbor intervened.
The third robbery occurred about 1 a.m. Wednesday and proved to be the bicycle bandit's downfall, police said.
During that robbery police said Bagley stole a watch from a 35-year-old man on Pace Avenue. Less than 11/2 hours later, however, Fifth Precinct Officer Michael Bonenfant spotted Bagley on his bike -- and, after a short foot pursuit, arrested him on Post Avenue.
Bagley was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in First District Court, Central Islip.