BENNINGTON — The Subway restaurant in town saw its third robbery in a span of two weeks on Friday. Police are now looking for a Bennington felon who they believe committed the crime.
The latest robbery at the fast-food restaurant on 227 North St. happened Friday night, with law enforcement receiving a call about it shortly before 10:30 p.m., according to the Bennington Police Department.
A man who acted as if he had a concealed firearm demanded money from the restaurant, said Det. Sgt. Larry Cole of the local police department. But the suspect apparently didn't have a visible weapon.
"We don't think he had a gun," Cole said. "He just indicated that he had one by keeping a hand in the pocket." The detective declined to disclose the amount of money taken, citing department policy.
The suspect entered the restaurant with his face uncovered, then "pulled his shirt up over his face."
Witnesses later identified the man as Zachary Dumas, 33, of Bennington, who is under the supervision of the Vermont Department of Corrections.
Bennington police announced through a Facebook post Monday that Dumas was wanted in a Subway robbery on June 7. It also meant the springtime string of robberies at the restaurant continued, following ones on May 24 and 29.
The department has posted surveillance video of the first two robberies, asking the public for any information that can help investigators.
Meanwhile, authorities believe Dumas is still in the area. He was released from the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland on March 6 and placed under house arrest in Bennington, said Dan Charron, district manager of the Bennington Probation and Parole office.
Dumas's state court records show he has been convicted on a host of felonies and misdemeanors between 2011 and 2018, including violating an abuse prevention order, unlawful trespass, violating conditions of release, retail theft and possessing a regulated drug.
"It is of utmost importance that we get as much assistance as we can from the general public in helping to locate Mr. Dumas, so we can take him into custody and hopefully prevent another reoccurence of the same type of thing," Cole said.
Local police continue to be concerned over copycat robberies.
"We can't assume that it's over," Cole said.
The Subway restaurant is upping its security measures, such as adjusting business hours and staffing, the detective said. The company couldn't be reached for comment on Tuesday.
The Bennington Police Department is asking anyone with information on Dumas's whereabouts or on the previous robberies to call (802) 442-1030, send a message on the department's Facebook page or leave an anonymous tip through its website, benningtonpolice.com/crime-tips.php.
Tiffany Tan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @tiffgtan on Twitter and 802-447-7567 ext. 122.