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Northfield restaurant robbed at gunpoint

NORTHFIELD — Police continue to investigate the armed robbery of a Main Street restaurant.

As two workers at the Notch Restaurant cleaned up after closing Monday night, a man entered the unlocked eatery at about 9 p.m., brandished a gun and demanded money.

It’s an uncommon event in the sleepy town of 3,000.

“This goes to show we’re not immune to some of the things that area happening in bigger towns,” said Kathy Wright, Selectboard chairwoman.

The robber got away Monday night, but police may be closing in on him.

“We were able to process some evidence, and we’re coordinating with other agencies in identifying potential suspects and following leads on descriptions and other information,” said Staff. Sgt. Robert Leighton. Leighton has been officer in charge of the department since former chief Leonard Crossman Jr. left Thursday.

Leighton declined to identify the evidence collected, specify the amount of money taken, or release a description of the robber, to keep from jeopardizing the ongoing investigation.

“We’ve got a very capable police force, and Sgt. Leighton has a lot of experience, so we’re very fortunate there,” said Wright. “I hope they’re able to find out who did it, and keep it from happening again.”

Leighton said state police were first on scene, and officers from Northfield and surrounding towns arrived afterward, contained the area and recovered evidence.

Leighton said his department is working with the state police detectives bureau and area police departments as the investigation continues.

Employees working during the robbery were shaken, said Leighton, but unharmed.

Monday’s robbery came on the heels of a rash of weekend break-ins in Turners Falls. Other burglaries, as well as armed and unarmed robberies, have become a more and more frequent occurrence in the county.

“I’ve been reading in the paper about all of the robberies in Greenfield, Montague, and Erving. I’m shocked it’s worked its way up to Northfield,” said Wright. “I can’t think of a time in my memory when we’ve had anything like this happen.”

Notch owner Kathleen Crochier could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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