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King St. bank robbed; police arrest suspect

NORTHAMPTON — About six hours after a King Street bank was robbed Thursday afternoon, Northampton Police arrested the man they think is responsible in a West Springfield hotel room.

Michael Lucey, 53, was arrested around 9 p.m. on charges of unarmed robbery and larceny over $250, according to Northampton Police Detective Lt. Alan Borowski. Borowski said Lucey has been staying at various friends’ homes but previously lived on Wright Avenue in Northampton.

Borowski said the robber walked into Freedom Credit Union at 226 King St. at 2:45 p.m. and passed a note demanding money to a bank teller. He did not show a weapon and no one was injured. After the teller gave him between $2,000 and $3,000 in cash, the man fled on a bicycle, Borowski said.

Police were initially unable to find him, despite sending numerous city officers to search the area, as well as a State Police K-9 Unit and a helicopter. Borowski said that Northampton Police were able to identify the man in the bank’s surveillance video footage as Lucey, whom they have arrested in the past. Interviews with people who know Lucey gave the detectives an idea of where he might be staying, Borowski said, and they eventually found his name on the register at the Knight’s Inn in West Springfield.

Borowski said he and Detective Peter Fappiano arrested Lucey there around 9 p.m. The Detectives Bureau was in the process of seeking a search warrant Thursday at 10:30 p.m. and Borowski said he expected to be able to recover at least some of the stolen money from Lucey’s hotel room once the warrant was approved.

Lucey will be arraigned Friday in Northampton District Court, Borowski said.

Barry Crosby, Freedom Credit Union’s president and CEO, told the Gazette that the bank would be open as usual Friday morning.

“No one was hurt and everyone followed the correct procedures,” Crosby said of his staff.

“Any time something like this happens, it shakes people up a little bit, but they handled it well,” Borowski said of the workers. “They gave us great information.”

The bank branch is in the plaza that includes Stop & Shop and Liquors 44. At about 3:30 p.m., the building was surrounded by police tape and a State Police helicopter hovered in the sky above. At various times that afternoon, until police left the bank around 6 p.m., there were between three and 10 police vehicles parked outside the building.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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