Main Street store robbed at gunpoint
Cumberland Farms in Greenfield was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday morning. Recorder/Paul Franz
The Valley Mart in Greenfield is the site of a number of robberies over the years. Recorder/Paul Franz
Calls Corner in Greenfield. Recorder/Paul Franz
JC’s Market in Greenfield was robbed Friday evening.
GREENFIELD — The armed robbery of a Main Street store early Tuesday morning marks the third such crime in a week.
Police were called to Cumberland Farms on Main Street just after midnight Tuesday, where two men reportedly made off with cash after one of them pointed a pistol at the cashier.
The clerk told police two men had entered the store, with hoods pulled over their heads and their faces covered with bandannas, according to police. They were described as white men in their mid 20s.
The subject who reportedly had a gun stood about 6 feet tall, was “very skinny” and had very light blue eyes, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans or sweatpants, and a red bandanna over his face.
The other was skinny and about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and wearing blue jeans, a light gray sweatshirt, black sneakers with white laces and a blue face covering.
Police dogs were called in, and tracked a scent from the store through the woods and back and forth along the railroad tracks between Holy Trinity Church and Power Court. The suspects were not found.
Workers at Cumberland Farms Tuesday declined to comment on the crime, referring questions to a corporate spokesman.
Tuesday’s robbery comes three days after the armed robbery of JC’s Market on Conway Street, and a week after Valley Mart on Mill Street was robbed by a male with a handgun.
Last week’s robberies each involved a single suspect, and occurred earlier, around 6 p.m. The clerk at Valley Mart described the robber as a white male about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a handgun. The clerk at JC’s said the robber was a white man in his 20s, with a black pistol.
The victims in both those robberies said the suspect was wearing a black hooded jacket or sweatshirt, with the hood pulled down and a white face covering.
Detective Lt. Daniel McCarthy told The Recorder he believes last week’s robberies may be connected.
Calls to McCarthy and Chief Robert Haigh Jr. for comment were not returned Tuesday. Dispatchers said nobody authorized to comment would be available until the morning.
The recent string of robberies has local convenience store workers worried.
“I’m kind of sketched out; I’m afraid we’ll be next,” said a clerk at Call’s Corner, on Conway Street Tuesday afternoon. “This guy’s clearly on a spree; it’s only a matter of time. We’re in the ideal location” for a robbery.
The store has been a victim of thieves several times, including armed robberies and nighttime break-ins.
“I haven’t been on duty personally when we’ve been robbed,” said the clerk, who preferred not to be named. “I’ve been here about five months, and luckily nothing’s happened since then.”
Call’s Corner was last robbed in May, when a male suspect came into the store and partially showed a gun in his pocket, according to police. The robber hid his face with a hood and bandanna in that robbery as well.
In January, a man with his face covered entered the store wielding a razor blade and asked for money, but was unsuccessful in his attempt.
The store is taking several precautions, said the clerk. Workers perform safe drops whenever there’s a certain amount of cash in the drawer and frequent bank deposits make sure less cash is kept in the store, the clerk said.
In March, police reported to the store for a report of suspicious activity, and arrested a man they believe was preparing to rob it.
Nathan Rogers, 23, of Northfield, was found in a vehicle near the store, with a pellet gun and a face mask in the car, according to McCarthy. The lieutenant said the man later confessed to the armed robberies of the Main Street Cumberland Farms and Hess gas station on Federal Street.
Rogers was charged with two counts of armed and masked robbery. He is scheduled to return to Greenfield Superior Court Jan. 7 for a pretrial conference.
He faces a minimum sentence of five years in state prison if convicted of armed and masked robbery.
Rogers’ alleged crimes came amid an unrelated string of armed robberies.
In February and March, the Main Street TD Bank was robbed twice at gunpoint, as well as the Federal Street branch of Greenfield Cooperative Bank.
Richard C. May, 38, was arrested a week after the Federal Street robbery, and charged with three counts of armed and masked robbery. He is scheduled to return to Greenfield Superior Court on Dec. 18.
May, who was convicted of three counts of armed robbery in 1995, faces a minimum 15 year state prison sentence if convicted of a subsequent offense.
You can reach David Rainville at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 279