Bank robbery suspect waives rendition from N.Y.; will face charges in Berkshires


CLAVERACK, N.Y. -- A Hillsdale, N.Y., man accused of last week’s robbery of the Lee Bank in Stockbridge will be heading to the Berkshires to face charges.

Christopher Blair, 34, appeared in Columbia County Court in Claverack on Tuesday and agreed to waive rendition and allow himself to be taken to Massachusetts to face felony robbery and other charges, according to Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka.

Frederick Lantz, the spokesman for the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, said they hadn’t gotten official word yet as to Blair’s status in New York.

It was unclear exactly when Blair will be picked up from New York, where he continues to be held in jail without bail.

Czajka said Massachusetts law enforcement is usually prompt in retrieving defendants.

Blair, of Upper Hollow Road, walked into Lee Bank on Elm Street about 4 p.m. March 10, just before closing, and handed a teller a note that told her to give him money and no one would get hurt, according to Massachusetts State Police

Blair allegedly grabbed money out of the hand of the teller before jumping over the counter and taking more cash.

Police said no gun was used in the robbery and no one was injured. Blair did push one of the tellers when he jumped over the counter, according to a police report.

He was arrested a few hours later in Hillsdale by New York State Police. He allegedly confessed to the crime. He told police he was high on heroin at the time of the robbery and afterward went and picked up more and then used it prior to being arrested, police said. When taken into custody he had about $525 cash on him, said police.

Blair is facing unarmed robbery, larceny over $250 and assault and battery charges here.

This was the first robbery in nearly 80 years and possibly only the second in the history of Stockbridge. According to Eagle records, the last robbery was in January 1935. The Stockbridge Police Department website states that the 1935 robbery had been the only one in 250 years -- until last week.


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