Wednesday July 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A suspect in a brazen daylight armed robbery of a Tyler Street variety store remained on the lam as of Tuesday evening.

Pittsfield Police are searching for a male in his 20s, who was wearing a black bandana over the lower portion of his face, a brown, hooded sweatshirt and glasses, when he robbed Kirk's Variety & Hobby Center at 784 Tyler St. at about 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

A better description of the suspect wasn't available from police because his body was covered from head to toe.

The man used a large kitchen knife to force the cashier to hand over more than $500.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Police said the suspect ran south on Forest Place and through a nearby alley heading west.

The husband-and-wife owners of the business are Dipak Umaur and Rajendra Shah.

Shah told The Eagle she was working the register at the time.

"I was scared," she said.

Minutes after the heist, police were on the scene speaking with witnesses, while other officers spread out across the neighborhood in search of the suspect.

K-9 units, which included a bloodhound from the Williams town Police Depart ment, were brought in to try to track the man down.

According to Detective Lt. Michael Grady, the suspect's clothing -- a baseball hat, sunglasses, hooded sweatshirt, gloves and bandana -- were found a short distance away.

"They will be sent to the state crime lab for analysis," he told The Eagle.

Grady said there were currently no suspects, but the investigation was continuing.

On Tuesday afternoon, Pittsfield Police, with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police, canvassed the area.

A neighbor, who didn't want her name used for this story, said the owners of Kirk's Variety are "very nice.

Dipak Umaur, co-owner of Kirk’s Variety, walks out of Kirk’s Variety after it was robbed at knifepoint.
Dipak Umaur, co-owner of Kirk’s Variety, walks out of Kirk’s Variety after it was robbed at knifepoint. (Ben Garver / Berkshire Eagle Staff)
" But the woman said she wasn't overly surprised by the robbery.

"There's always something going on" in the area, she said. The woman said she has seen drug dealing in the neighborhood.

The store was closed after the robbery and blocked off by yellow police tape, while detectives investigated the scene. The store re-opened a short time later.

Pittsfield Police Detective Diane Cac camo is the lead investigator in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Detective Unit at (413) 448-9705.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx