Family Dollar robbed, employee attacked

GREENFIELD — Police continue to search for a man they say robbed a local discount store.

At about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to the Family Dollar store for a report of robbery and assault. The store’s assistant manager had been attacked after she confronted a man who began to take money out of a cash drawer she had been counting in the store’s front end as the store prepared to close for the night, according to Sgt. Mark Williams.

“He was grabbing cash from the drawer, and when she attempted to stop him, he pushed her and threatened to kill her,” said Williams. “Then he punched her in the face, and ran out of the store.”

Williams said witnesses include the victim, another employee, and a third person not employed by the store.

The victim was evaluated on-scene by emergency medical technicians, and taken by ambulance to Baystate Franklin Medical Center with minor injuries, said Williams.

A store employee identified the victim as assistant manager Mary Gardner. She said Gardner had come into the store Wednesday and seemed physically OK, but emotionally shaken.

“She’s still pretty frightened,” said the clerk. “She’s taking a couple days off.” She said Gardner did not show any signs of bruising the day after the attack.

Williams said the assistant manager had been counting cash near the store’s safe, and the robbery happened as she prepared to deposit the cash into the strongbox.

Since the attack happened in the commission of a robbery, the suspect is wanted on aggravated assault and battery charges as well as unarmed robbery, said Williams. Both offenses are felonies, the former carrying a maximum 10-year state prison sentence, the latter a sentence of “life or for any term of years” in state prison, according to state law.

Police seek the community’s help as they search for the robber.

The suspect is described as a black man in his 30s or 40s, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall and heavyset without facial hair, according to Williams. Williams said the suspect was wearing baggy blue jeans, a black jacket and a black winter hat.

Witnesses saw the robber getting into a dark car resembling a Chrysler PT Cruiser, and leave the Big Y parking lot on Colrain Road.

Anyone with information may call Greenfield Police at 413-773-5411.

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

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