BENNINGTON >> Three businesses are offering a reward for information that will help police solve four armed robberies that occurred between October and March.
Willy's Variety on Gage Street in Bennington, Martin's Gulf on North Street in Bennington, and Paulin's Store on Bank Street in North Bennington are all individually offering a $1,000 reward for "credible and detailed information that leads to the arrest of the persons for one or all four of the unsolved robberies," according to Det. Larry Cole of the Bennington Police Department.
The first robbery took place on Oct. 23 of last year at Willy's. According to the police report, at about 6:35 a.m., a masked person displayed a handgun to an employee, the only one in the store at the time, and ordered them into another part of the store. The suspect then took the money in the cash register and fled out the front door. Nearby Bennington Elementary School and the School of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales both canceled all outdoor activities as a precaution on the day of the robbery.
On November 29, a lone male wearing tan colored cargo pants, a military-style camouflage jacket, dark colored hood, cap, and gloves, entered Paulin's at about 6 p.m. He threatened the sole employee in the store with a crowbar, and demanded cash. The employee complied, and the robber fled out the front door. Vermont State Police were summoned to the scene and used a dog to search the area, but they could not find the suspect.
The third and fourth robberies both occurred at Martin's. The first of those was on Feb. 25 at 8:08 p.m., while the second was on March 20 at 8:38 p.m. In both cases, a person approached an employee while displaying a handgun. In both cases, the suspect was given the money and fled to the south. The person involved in the first case was described as being a white male, 5' 8" tall, with a thin build, wearing a dark pullover hoodie, jeans, and a red bandana.
Between October of 2015 and March of 2016, there were five other robberies that occurred in Bennington, all of which the police department has declared as solved. Jessica Harrington, Amanda Sausville, and Lawrence Elwell were charged with a robbery of a private residence on Putnam Street on Dec. 22; Lillian King, Richard Stewart, and Elwell were charged with robbing the Bennington Subway on Jan. 8; King and Elwell were charged with robbing Paulin's on Jan. 10; John Chinnici and Austin Mayhew were charged with robbing Martin's Mobil on Main Street in Bennington on Jan. 11; and Royal Palin was charged with robbing Heritage Family Credit Union on Pleasant Street on March 25.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bennington Police Department at 802-442-1030.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.