Related story: Two charged in connection with armed robberies.
PITTSFIELD -- The Pittsfield Police Department has released surveillance videos from several of the unsolved armed robberies that have plagued the city in the last five months in the hope that the public can help identify the perpetrators.
More than a dozen armed robberies or attempted robberies have been made in Pittsfield since June, many by masked men targeting convenience stores. Many remain unsolved.
According to Detective Capt. Patrick F. Barry, police haven't seen this many robberies in the city since the early 2000s.
Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn, in a written statement, said that while police can't pinpoint why there's been an apparent spike in this type of crime, they believe that the economy, unemployment and drug abuse may be contributing factors.
Police are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious around the times and places of the crimes to call them at (413) 448-9700 or text your tip to 847411.
A surveillance video from O'Connell's Convenience Plus at 185 Linden St., from Monday, Aug. 22, at 9:39 p.m., shows a black male wearing dark clothing and a dark mask entering the store. The man puts a handgun in the face of an employee and orders him to open the cash register nearest the front door. The robber takes money from the door and makes his getaway. Police describe the man as between 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing between 180 and 190 pounds. (See video below.)
A second armed robbery at the Linden Street Convenience Plus -- this one from Thursday Sept. 18, at 9:16 p.m. -- shows a man enter the store, brandish a black handgun, and order a clerk to open the cash drawer farthest from the front door. The robber steals money before running off. Police described the perpetrator as around 5 feet 9 inches tall with a thin build and wearing dark clothing and gloves. (See video below)
Another video from the O'Connell's Convenience Plus at 115 Dalton Ave. shows an armed robbery that took place Oct. 3, a Monday, at 4:29 a.m. A black male wearing dark clothing and a ski mask forces his way into the store, leads two female employees to where the store safe is located, and orders one to open it and put the money in a duffel bag. The man is described as about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds, with a medium build.(See video below.)
A surveillance video from Vivaldi's Pizza at 898 Crane Ave., taken on Sept. 11 -- a Friday -- at 9:36 p.m., shows what appears to be a short, black male wearing dark clothing and a ski mask go behind the restaurant's counter. He brandishes a black handgun and orders three employees to the ground. He then attempts to locate the pizzeria's safe before giving up and ordering an employee to open the cash register. The robber than takes the money and runs out the door. (See video below.)
The police have also released a video of a breaking and entering into the Back Nine Bar & Grille at 303 Crane Ave. The Nov. 5 early morning break-in occurred about 4 a.m., police said. In the surveillance video, a rather tall -- between 6 feet and 6 feet 3 inches -- black man with a protruding belly is seen breaking into the bar's back door. He goes behind the bar, steals money from the register, and then takes several bottles of liquor on his way out. The man was wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and gray mask over the lower part of his face. (See video below.)