Editorial: Armed robbery

The armed robbery in Greenfield recently, where a manager of a store in downtown Greenfield was held up at knife point, is an anomaly.

Not that armed robberies or attempted armed robberies haven’t taken place here or elsewhere in the county. Not too long ago, Calls Corner convenience store on Conway Street had someone come in with what appeared to be a gun. And there were the incidents earlier this year where the TDBank downtown branch was held up by someone with a weapon.

No, what made it unusual was just how brazen it was.

The armed robbery took place shortly after 5 p.m. on a Tuesday ... not exactly a time when the stores and streets of downtown Greenfield are deserted.

What, therefore, prompts an individual to ignore the chances that there will be witnesses to rob a business? For that matter, what gets into someone’s head to not only brandish a knife while holding up a clerk but put it up against the victim’s throat?

Drugs ... money for drugs ... is the answer.

According to the police reports, the suspect who was arrested and charged in the crime admitted that the armed robbery was committed for drug money.

That there is a drug problem here in Greenfield should be of no surprise to anyone. Perhaps you read the series of stories done by The Recorder’s Chris Curtis recently on the heroin problem in Greenfield and elsewhere in Franklin County — and up and down the Interstate 91 corridor. Even if you missed that in-depth look at the resurgence of heroin and other narcotics, read either the police or court logs in The Recorder in any given week and you’ll see plenty of incidents, like break-ins, committed by people needing money to feed their drug habits.

Drug use is a serious problem, one that requires a multifaceted answer. While a greater police presence downtown will add to peace of mind for merchants and others, there are still people who are going to take chances when it comes to drugs and that includes committing armed robbery during or just after business hours. And when such incidents take place, we hope that they turn out as the latest one did, where no one was hurt and the suspect was quickly apprehended.

Let’s really hope that these crimes remain out of the ordinary ... and in the meantime work on getting more money and resources for addiction programs of all kinds.

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