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Police search for bank robber

  • Greenfield Police Officer Richard Brook and Montague Detective John Dempsey with K-9 Sunny, behind The People's United Bank in Greenfield shortly after a mid-day robbery.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    Greenfield Police Officer Richard Brook and Montague Detective John Dempsey with K-9 Sunny, behind The People's United Bank in Greenfield shortly after a mid-day robbery. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • submitted photo<br/>Police are looking for this man, who robbed a bank in Greenfield Friday

    submitted photo
    Police are looking for this man, who robbed a bank in Greenfield Friday Purchase photo reprints »

  • People's United Bank in Greenfield robbed.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    People's United Bank in Greenfield robbed. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • People's United Bank robbed on Friday. Recorder/Paul Franz

    People's United Bank robbed on Friday. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Greenfield Police Officer Richard Brook and Montague Detective John Dempsey with K-9 Sunny, behind The People's United Bank in Greenfield shortly after a mid-day robbery.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    Greenfield Police Officer Richard Brook and Montague Detective John Dempsey with K-9 Sunny, behind The People's United Bank in Greenfield shortly after a mid-day robbery. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Greenfield Police Officer Richard Brook and Montague Detective John Dempsey with K-9 Sunny, behind The People's United Bank in Greenfield shortly after a mid-day robbery.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • submitted photo<br/>Police are looking for this man, who robbed a bank in Greenfield Friday
  • People's United Bank in Greenfield robbed.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • People's United Bank robbed on Friday. Recorder/Paul Franz
  • Greenfield Police Officer Richard Brook and Montague Detective John Dempsey with K-9 Sunny, behind The People's United Bank in Greenfield shortly after a mid-day robbery.  Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — The suspect in a morning bank robbery remained at large Friday.

A robbery was reported at People’s United Bank on Federal Street at about 11:25 a.m.

The suspect, a heavyset white man wearing a plaid shirt, sunglasses and white baseball cap and standing 5 feet, 10 inches to 6 feet tall, passed a teller a note that demanded cash and implied that he had a gun, according to Detective Sgt. Daniel McCarthy.

No gun was actually shown, he said, though the implication of one is enough to levy an armed robbery charge.

McCarthy said it was “business as usual” at the bank before the robbery, and that there were customers inside when it happened. He would not disclose the number of tellers working or the amount of cash taken.

Greenfield police called in officers from Erving, Montague and Deerfield, as well as state troopers and the State Police Crime Scene Unit for assistance.

Erving police also provided a bloodhound and Montague provided a German shepherd police dog.

The dogs picked up a scent and followed it from the bank’s back door and onto Main Street.

People in the area said the dogs sniffed around several Main Street doorways before police ended the track at Main and Wells streets. Onlookers said the dogs and handlers did not enter any of the businesses on Main Street.

McCarthy said there is nothing to suggest that the dogs were picking up the scent of the suspect in the Main Street doorways.

Police are working with other agencies to check on similarities between Friday’s robbery and two previous bank robberies in other towns.

Just before 1 p.m. on June 25, Country Bank for Savings in Palmer was robbed. The suspect there wore a blue and white plaid shirt, sunglasses and a dark blue ball cap, and was described as “stocky.”

A Worcester branch of Santander Bank was robbed at about noon April 24. The portly suspect demanded cash in a note and implied that he had a gun. The robber was wearing a dark- colored jacket, rather than the plaid shirts described in the Palmer and Greenfield robberies.

McCarthy said he has contacted both Worcester and Palmer police to explore the possibility that they’re looking for the same man.

Friday’s bank robbery was the first since the 277 Federal St. branch of Greenfield Cooperative Bank was held up on March 13, 2013. That robbery followed two others at the Main Street TD Bank branch on Feb. 7 and March 3, 2013. Richard C. May, 39, is currently serving a 9-10 year state prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to all three robberies last December.

May was apprehended in Holyoke a week after the third robbery. Police linked him to the crime after a person who drove him to Holyoke turned over three marked “bait bills” May gave her for gas money.

Since then, a handful of convenience stores and gas stations have also been robbed. The most recent was July 15, when a masked man robbed Planet Gas on the Mohawk Trail at gunpoint. McCarthy said no arrests have been made in that robbery.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

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