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Suspect arrested in Florence may be connected to Circle K robbery in Greenfield

NORTHAMPTON — One suspect is in custody and authorities are searching for a second in connection with an early morning armed robbery in Florence that may be connected to other similar crimes in the region.

A 17-year-old Northampton youth was arrested Thursday morning on a charge of armed robbery while masked in connection with the robbery reported at the Cumberland Farms store at 53 Main St. in Florence about 1 a.m.

Police did not release the name of the suspect due to new state rules defining 17-year-olds as juveniles.

According to Northampton police, two males wearing masks — one carrying a baseball bat, the other a sword — entered the convenience store, demanded money and fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and some candy.

Nobody was injured, police said.

Northampton police responded, and called in help from the Hadley police canine unit to assist with the search of the area. The suspect was caught about 6 a.m. in a parking lot at Meadowbrook Apartments off Bridge Road, police said.

Police remained at the scene until at least 8:30 a.m. searching for more evidence. Police said more charges may be pending against the suspect as the investigation continues.

Police are also investigating whether the latest crime is connected to similar robberies in Northampton and Greenfield.

At 12:39 a.m. Wednesday, two masked men entered the Cumberland Farms at 134 King St. in Northampton, demanded money and fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

And about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, two masked men entered the Circle K gas station on the Mohawk Trail in Greenfield, and demanded cash and cigarettes before leaving the store on foot.

In that case, the clerk on duty told police she saw one of the robbers holding a silver-colored item protruding from his pocket, The Recorder reported.

Greenfield police believe the two suspects may have headed south from Circle K to rob another store.

“We feel there may be some connection with an unarmed robbery at Cumberland Farms in Northampton,” said Greenfield Police Detective Lt. Daniel McCarthy.

The suspects were described as slender, wearing black jackets, one in blue jeans, the other in black jeans, according to McCarthy.

Given the distance between the incidents, McCarthy said it is more than likely that the two had a getaway car.

According to Massachusetts General Laws, a suspect can be charged with armed robbery even if no weapon is shown if that suspect creates the impression they have a weapon.

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