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Valley Mart robbed at gunpoint

GREENFIELD — Police are looking for a man who robbed the Valley Mart convenience store at gunpoint Tuesday evening.

Sgt. Laura Gordon said police do not yet have a suspect.

The robber showed a pistol before making off with an undisclosed amount of cash and Marlboro-brand cigarettes, Gordon said.

The store clerk reported the robbery at 6:14 p.m. Tuesday. Gordon said the clerk was the only witness in the store, and police are still working on getting ahold of the video surveillance footage. In the meantime, police are looking for a skinny white male, about 5 feet, 7 inches, wearing a black hooded jacket with the hood pulled down and a white scarf over his face at the time of the robbery.

A K-9 officer from Montague was called in to track the suspect. Greenfield’s K-9 unit has been disbanded, Gordon said.

Erving and Montague respond to Greenfield for tracking calls.

Gunpoint robberies have been relatively uncommon in Franklin County for years.

“Unfortunately it’s happening more and more,” Gordon said.

Of the 18 armed robberies reported in this paper over a two-year period ending this February, in only three did the victim report seeing a gun, and of those three, one was a toy.

Three bank robberies this spring bucked that trend, with a masked man pointing a pistol at tellers in two successive robberies of the TD Bank branch on Main Street and one of the Greenfield Cooperative Bank on Federal Street. These followed the robbery of the Notch Restaurant in Northfield, in which the robber reportedly brandished a gun.

The use of a gun or a mask in the commission of a robbery carries a mandatory minimum five-year sentence, on first offence, under Massachusetts law.

A May robbery of the Calls Corner convenience store involved the threat of a gun, partially shown in a pocket.

For the Valley Mart, this appears to be the first robbery since last January.

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