GREAT BARRINGTON -- While he continues to be held for up to 60 days without bail at the Berkshire County Jail on a separate charge, the man accused of stealing $35 from a convenience store attendant at the Lenox Lipton Mart faces a March 21 pre-trial hearing on that charge at Southern Berkshire District Court.

Robert A. Sykes, 23, of Melrose Avenue, Pittsfield, appeared before Judge Fredric D. Rutberg on Thursday, where his next court date was set. He was assigned attorney Louis Oggiani of Great Barrington for his defense.

Earlier this week at Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield, Sykes's bail on a previous domestic abuse case was revoked by Judge Paul M. Vrabel at the prosecution's request. After 60 days, he could be released if he posts $2,500 cash or $25,000 bail bond. Last September, Sykes allegedly assaulted the mother of his child and took her cellphone battery to prevent her from calling 911, according to police.

According to Lenox police and the Berkshire DA's office, Sykes entered the Lipton Mart on Pittsfield Road (Routes 7 and 20) in Lenox at about 10 a.m. on Feb. 11 wearing an orange ski mask and took about $35 from the cashier's wallet, which was in the open because she was making a purchase. Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Dana Parsons said the employee was badly shaken by what happened.

On the Lenox charge of larceny from a person, a felony, Sykes pleaded not guilty.

Sykes was arrested by the Lenox Police Department upon leaving Berkshire Medical Center's drug rehab unit on Tuesday, where he had checked himself in anonymously, less than an hour after the Lipton Mart incident. Parsons said Sykes had a known drug addiction.

To contact Clarence Fanto:
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