PITTSFIELD — Two local eateries were hit by armed robbers on Saturday evening, boosting to 12 the total number of city businesses thieves have targeted since early November.
According to Pittsfield police, the Subway sandwich shop at 381 Tyler Street and Angelina's on 133 Elm Street were robbed within a half-hour of each other — possibly by the same person.
At about 7:43 p.m., the thief, dressed in a grey hooded sweatshirt, light-colored mask, dark pants and dark gloves, entered Subway and demanded money. A witness said he brandished a dark handgun. The suspect fled on foot after stealing an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.
The thief was described as a pale-complexioned white male, about six feet tall, weighing 200 pounds.
About 24 minutes later, a similarly-attired individual struck at Angelina's, police said in a Facebook posting. The second thief was described as being about 5-10, 175 pounds, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, light-colored mask over his face, with dark pants and dark gloves. He also had a dark-colored handgun.
The robber left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash and again, no injuries reported during the heist. Police believe that the same person carried out both robberies, although in the case of the Angelina's robbery, the suspect may have got into a pickup truck on Northumberland Road.
The description of Saturday's armed robber seems similar to the one who struck at small businesses in Bennington, Vt., on Jan. 8. According to the Bennington Banner, a masked armed robber struck at the Subway shop in Bennington at about 11:45 p.m., then struck Paulin's gas station a few minutes later.
In those robberies, an individual wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, dark gloves, grey sneakers and a scarf around the bottom portion of his face hit both stores. He too, had a handgun and fled on foot after the robberies.
Although police in Pittsfield believe Saturday's robberies were carried out by the same individual, the department has said they believe several different individuals are carrying out the Pittsfield thefts.
Since Nov. 8, city police have responded to a dozen store thefts, all but one being investigated as armed robberies. The lone arrest has come in the unarmed robbery of Zuke's Soups and Variety on Dec. 10.
Mayor Linda Tyer has called the rash of thefts "unacceptable" and has assured the residents of the city that the department is devoting a large number of resources to the investigations.