Man robs Planet Gas clerk at gunpoint
Police search for suspect
Planet Gas on the Mohawk Trail in Greenfield was robbed Tuesday morning which led police to search the next door Quality Inn for the suspect.Recorder/Paul Franz
Police investigating a robbery at Planet Gas led them to the Quality Inn next door. Recorder/Paul Franz
A surveillance image of the suspect shows him wearing a T-shirt with a logo that police believe will help to identify the suspect.
GREENFIELD — Police searched Tuesday for a man who entered the Planet Gas station that morning with a bandanna over his face and a pistol in his hand and left with money.
No arrests had been made at press time and police ask for the public’s help in identifying the robber.
Police logged the report at 10:26 a.m. The gas station, by the Interstate 91 rotary, was cordoned off with police tape Tuesday afternoon, a State Police K-9 unit SUV in the parking lot, but reopened for business by 1 p.m.
Multiple state, Greenfield and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office police cars parked in the lots surrounding the neighboring Quality Inn as police searched the area. Newton School administrators were told to shelter in place during the search.
“Armed robbery, the gas station there, we are checking the area of the ‘last seen’ at this point, which is in the area of the hotel,” Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh said, at the hotel’s front door. Haigh later said the man showed the station clerk a small, dark-colored handgun, demanded cash and left with a known sum, which police did not specify.
The suspect was last reported in and around the hotel and state and town police canvassed door-to-door inside, according to police. Guests continued to come and go from the hotel as police checked the area.
Greenfield Police are looking for a man described as dark-skinned, approximately 5’9” wearing a bandanna over his face, sunglasses, black cargo pants, and a black short-sleeved T-shirt over a long-sleeved white T-shirt and requested the public’s assistance in identifying the man.
Police provided a surveillance photo of what Haigh said was the identifying characteristic — the logo on the back of the man’s T-shirt.
Police ask anyone with information to call Det. Sgt. Daniel McCarthy at 413-773-5411 ext. 1305.
Robbery with a firearm of any kind carries a minimum sentence of five years in state prison, 15 on subsequent offense. The firearm does not have to be real, or even seen, in order for the crime to be considered armed robbery. Under Massachusetts law, wearing a mask in the commission of a robbery also carries a mandatory minimum five-year sentence on first offence.
The robber’s description, while not detailed, was similar to that given of the suspect in an April armed robbery, in which a man allegedly brandished a pistol and stole a small sum from the Cumberland Farms gas station convenience store on Federal Street. Police had no suspects in that case at the time. Haigh said he did not believe an arrest has been made in that case, but had nothing to say about a connection.
Greenfield police searched with the help of Massachusetts State Police K-9 units. Greenfield Police no longer have working dogs, which Haigh said he hopes to change in the future. “It’s more important right now for us to get our manpower back up before you start looking into specialty areas,” he said. For the time being, the department has help from state police and neighboring agencies, including Montague Police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
You can reach Chris Curtis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 257