A distinctive winter knit hat was a key clue for police who tracked down the man they say robbed two convenience stores in Cohoes over the past couple of weeks.

Vito Tricarico, 28, of Cohoes is charged with robberies at both the Sirajco Market at 199 Columbia St. on Christmas Eve and then the Remsen Street Market at 200 Remsen St. on Wednesday, January 8, police said. He is charged with burglary, robbery, petit larceny and one count of criminal mischief. Police have not described just what the hat looked like.

In the case on Dec. 24, 2013, authorities say that at 4:29 p.m. the clerk reported a man wearing a “distinctive winter knit hat” came into the store, went behind the counter and grabbed $150 out of the cash register and then ran off and got into a gray pick-up truck.

In the case on Jan. 8, police say that at 10:19 p.m. police got a call of a strong-armed robbery where the clerk said “a lone bandit entered the store wearing dark clothing and a dark winter hat” and asked the clerk for change. Once the register was open, the man tried to grab cash and struggled with the clerk but got away with the entire register’s drawer holding about $500.

Police interviewed witnesses and tracked Tricarico to his home at Saratoga Sites in Cohoes and a search warrant found items relating to both robberies, police said. Tricarico was arraigned in Cohoes City Court and sent to Albany County Jail on $5,000 bail.