Crime

Vermont State Police Log: Armed robbery suspects wanted

ADDISON COUNTY / BRANDON — Police are investigating armed robberies in Shoreham and Brandon this past weekend in which stores captured images of the assailant wearing the same sweatshirt at both crime scenes.

The first robbery took place Saturday morning, Aug. 21, at the Shoreham Service Center (Maplefields) at the corner of Routes 22A and 74 in Shoreham.

State police report that a man spent several minutes shopping in the store at around 5:45 a.m. He went to the counter to purchase a bottled beverage, coffee, and other items and he requested cigarettes from the clerk. Then he displayed a knife and demanded the clerk hand over money from the cash drawer. No one was injured.

Police described the man as approximately 5-feet, 9-inches tall with short brown hair wearing a black sweatshirt with the word “OLD ORCHARD” across the front, green pants, dark baseball hat with a gold/yellow brim, and a camouflaged gaiter-style mask. He fled the store with a coffee, and two packets of cigarettes. Store surveillance cameras captured video of the man.

Anyone with information that may be relevant to this investigation is asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Rutland at 802-773-9101. Tips also may be submitted anonymously online at vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

No further information is available. Updates will be provided as the investigation continues.

The next morning, at around 8:50 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22, a man wearing a mask walked into the Union Street Grocery on Union Street in Brandon, brandished a knife, and demanded money from the cash register. Surveillance video shows the man wearing a black sweatshirt that bore the same words as the one in the Shoreham robbery: OLD ORCHARD.

A customer who had just left the store chased the suspect to the area of Rossiter and Church streets. The suspect jumped into a getaway vehicle that was driven by a female, and they fled the area. The vehicle was a gray Pontiac Vibe, Vermont plate HHA705.

Brandon police said they have several leads in the case. Police are asking anyone who believes they have information about this case or similar robberies, to call them at 247-0222.

In other recent activity, troopers:

•  On Aug. 17 responded to a home on Smith Street in Shoreham for a report of a family fight that had occurred at around 3:30 p.m. Police investigated and determined that Randall C. Strong, 67, of Shoreham and a household member assaulted each other, and Strong left the scene. Troopers placed a victim who was also an offender under arrest for domestic assault, and police said the person resisted arrest.

Troopers later found Strong, who came to the New Haven Barracks for processing. At the conclusion of processing, both parties were released with citations to appear in Addison County Superior Court, Criminal Division — Randall Strong to answer a charge of domestic assault, and the victim/offender to a charge of resisting arrest.

•  On Aug. 18 at about 9:38 a.m. looked into a report of a violation of a relief-from-abuse prevention order in Bristol.

Through investigation troopers determined that Melvyn Urbacz, 41, of Nottingham, England, had violated the relief-from-abuse prevention order and was trying to contact a Bristol woman through emails.

Vermont State Police faxed Nottingham police a citation to be served on Urbacz for an Oct. 18 court hearing on the violation of the abuse-prevention order charge.

•  On Aug. 22 at 3:40 p.m. received a report that a 70-year-old Waltham man had wandered off from his residence earlier in the day and had not yet returned. After an extensive search, he was located safe at a relative’s home. State police were assisted by the Vergennes fire and police departments, Vermont Fish and Game, and Vermont and New England K-9 Search and Rescues.

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