SUNDERLAND — As of late Tuesday evening, police hadn’t found an armed robber who held up a clerk at Sunderland Market in the Squire Village Plaza on Route 116 Monday night, making off with money stolen from a cash register.
“The clerk described him as a male party, wearing a red, hooded jacket (and) wearing a white mask covering his entire face. He was about 5'6" or 5'8",” Sunderland Police Chief Erik Demetropoulos said Tuesday evening.
According to store Manager Zain Abideen, who was attending the counter Tuesday morning, the man apparently dropped an energy drink container in the parking lot. Abideen said he’s hoping police can pull fingerprints from it and identify the robber.
In a video captured by one of the store’s 18 surveillance cameras, the man can be seen walking around the store, seemingly browsing, before setting a few items, including the energy drink, on the counter around 11:30 p.m. Monday, about 30 minutes before closing time.
There were no other customers in the store at the time.
As depicted on the video, about halfway through the transaction, the man pulls out what seems to be a handgun, setting it down barrel-forward on the counter and apparently demanding the clerk give him money. In response, the clerk calmly empties the register and sets cash on the counter, including change.
Then, after pocketing the money, the man exits the store, “almost as calmly as when he entered. H didn’t rush in and rush out,” Demetropoulos said. “We really can’t tell the nationality or race of the male. His voice was muffled, and last night’s weather was so frigid” which, at first, explained the ski mask.
The man was captured on a camera outside walking across the parking lot toward Amherst. The store’s surveillance footage doesn’t show if there was a vehicle waiting; however, Demetropoulos said police believe he left in a vehicle.
Soon after, police officers from Sunderland, Deerfield and State Police responded. Later, K9s from Montague Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office were also called in. However, following a search, the robber wasn’t found.
Demetroupolos said an investigation is ongoing, noting physical evidence and footage from many video surveillance cameras in the plaza. Since the robbery, Demetroupolos said a few people have come forward with information. He noted the investigation is ongoing.
“It’s going to take time to look at all the footage and piece everything together,” Demetroupolos said. The police chief asked anyone who might have pertinent information, including video footage, to contact the Sunderland Police Department as soon as possible at 413-665-7036.