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RI police arrest 2 robbery suspects

Believed responsible for string of robberies in western Mass.

GREENFIELD — Massachusetts and Rhode Island state police have arrested two suspects in a string of armed robberies of gas stations and convenience stores along the Interstate 91 corridor, including a stop in Greenfield.

Police arrested the first man in Rhode Island on Jan. 4 following a car chase and the second, a 16-year-old, at his high school in Springfield on Friday.

Rhode Island State Police arrested Monchi Castillo-Cosme, 23, of Springfield on Jan. 4 as a suspect in three armed robberies in Uxbridge and Rhode Island, according to a release from the Massachusetts State Police. Police arrested Castillo-Cosme after he and a second suspect fled a crash during a police pursuit.

The two suspects fled into the woods after crashing their vehicle on a Route 95 exit ramp in Warwick, leaving a pistol in the car, according to Rhode Island State Police.

Mass. State Police said further investigation revealed that Castillo-Cosme and his alleged accomplice “matched the descriptions of suspects who, while brandishing firearms, had robbed approximately 15 gas stations and stores along the Interstate 91 corridor in Massachusetts, including locations in Northampton and Greenfield.”

The Greenfield location mentioned appears to be the Circle K gas station on the Mohawk Trail, just off Interstate 91.

Greenfield Detective Lt. Daniel McCarthy said this appeared to be the incident in question, although he had not heard from State Police on Monday.

Two men robbed the convenience store attached to the gas station on Dec. 14. No gun was brandished, but the clerk reported to police that one of the men held a silver-colored item protruding from his pocket.

The second suspect was not immediately arrested. Police identified the second suspect as a 16-year-old Springfield boy, and last week obtained a warrant for his arrest from the Rhode Island court system charging the boy with robbery, firearms violations, and conspiracy.

Troopers from both state police agencies arrested the boy on Friday at the Springfield Science and Technical High School, where he is a student.

The boy was arraigned in Springfield District Court, where bail was set at $500,000. He was not identified because of his age.

Castillo-Cosme was arrested and arraigned in Rhode Island and the young suspect faces extradition to that state.

Both are currently charged only in connection with the robberies of a Shell gas station in Cranston, R.I., and an X-tra Mart convenience store in Coventry, R.I., on Jan. 4, according to Rhode Island State Police.

Mass. State Police said additional charges against both suspects reflecting the robberies in Massachusetts are expected.

Northampton Police on Dec. 19 arrested a 17-year-old juvenile as a suspect in connection with the armed robbery of a Florence Cumberland Farms that day. That teenager was at the time considered a possible suspect in other crimes, including the Circle K robbery. McCarthy said the 17-year-old is no longer a suspect in that robbery.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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