Pair arrested a block away from site of Pittsfield armed robbery


PITTSFIELD — Two armed robbery suspects were arrested on Tuesday afternoon about a block away from the South Street convenience store they had just held up, according to Pittsfield Police.

Lionel Ortiz, 34, and Vincent Thaxter, 37, addresses unknown, were caught at the corner Gamwell Avenue and South Street shortly after the incident — the 13th armed robbery in the city since late November.

About 3:50 p.m., a clerk at the Lipton Mart at 460 South St. called 911 to report the heist, according to a news release.

Responding officers immediately spoke to a "concerned witness" who gave a description of the suspects and the car they fled in, a partial license plate number and the direction of travel. Additional police units responding immediately spotted the vehicle just south of the store and arrested the two men after determining they had probable cause.

They were charged with armed robbery and ordered held pending their arraignment Wednesday in Central Berkshire District Court.

The investigation is ongoing and police say more charges are expected against the men.

It was not clear what kind of weapon was used, if it was recovered, or how much — if any — money was taken from the store.

There were no reports of injuries during the robbery or arrest.

Tuesday's incident is the city's 13th armed robbery in the city dating back to late November.

Three people are being held in connection with six of the previous 12 robberies. Those cases are pending.

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.


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