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Suspected Greenfield bank robber pleads not guilty Thursday after arrest in Holyoke

— Richard C. May, 38, of Greenfield was arraigned Thursday for the alleged armed robbery of the Greenfield Cooperative Bank branch at 277 Federal St. on March 13.

May, who was arrested Wednesday night in Holyoke, pleaded not guilty in Franklin Superior Court to a charge of masked, armed robbery. Bail was set at $500,000 cash and May’s next scheduled court appearance is April 19, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.

Assistant District Attorney Carrie Russell said a witness followed the man who robbed the bank at gunpoint and noted the license plate of his vehicle. Marked bills from the robbery, a ski mask and clothing that matched the description of those worn during the robbery were recovered in the house of May’s girlfriend, Russell said.

May is also a suspect in the robberies of the Main Street TD Bank branch Feb. 17 and March 3, police said. Those robberies also involved a masked man armed with a black semi-automatic handgun.

Greenfield Detective Lt. Daniel McCarthy described how Holyoke police arrested May about 6 p.m. Wednesday. “Holyoke patrol officers saw him walking (in the area of Southbridge and Hamilton streets) and confronted him. He tried to lie about his name, but they had enough photos to confirm it was him,” McCarthy said.

May did not have a weapon on him when he was apprehended, he added.

Police identified May as a suspect shortly after the March 13 robbery, and on Friday named him and released his photo.

May has three previous armed robbery convictions from Worcester Superior Court in 1995, for which he was sentenced to four to 10 years in the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Cedar Junction. If convicted of a subsequent armed and masked robbery, May faces a mandatory minimum 15-year state prison sentence for each count.

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