PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at the Convenience Plus, located at 185 Linden St.
According to police, units were dispatched the location on Sunday, June 12, at approximately 2:59 p.m. in response to an alarm. Upon arrival, responding units were met by store employees who reported that the store had been robbed.
According to the clerks, an unidentified man approached the counter, apparently wanting to purchase an item. While the clerk was in the process of completing the transaction, the suspect displayed a handgun and started taking all of the money out of the cash register. After removing the money, the suspect exited the store and ran west on Linden Street.
The suspect was described as black, possibly in his 30s, approximately 6 feet tall, with black hair and a beard. The suspect was described as wearing all black, with black lettering on the top. The weapon was described as a black handgun.
Detective Diane Caccamo has been assigned as the lead investigator in this case. Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Adams police sergeant pleaded guilty Friday morning in Berkshire Superior Court to 10 counts of child pornography.
Alan C. Vigiard, 46, appeared before Judge Daniel Ford and pleaded guilty to 10 counts of knowlingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct. A single count of lasciviously posing a child in a state of nudity was dismissed at the request of the commonwealth.
Vigiard was released on personal recognizance pending sentencing, which will take place on June 22 at 3 p.m.
The veteran officer was being investigated after a folder with pornographic images was found on a CD sent to the district attorneys. Vigiard was caught viewing pornography on a police computer at the station on Oct. 29, 2009.
He was placed on administrative leave and then resigned. As of last year, he was receiving retirement benefits accrued during his service but will lose those if the retirement board determines his crimes were linked to his employment.
The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and members of the Adams Police Department.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A massive fire in an apartment complex on Saturday afternoon left more than 40 people homeless.
The five-alarm blaze was brought under control by Pittsfield firefighters after nearly seven hours and with the aid of at least six county fire companies.
No one was injured but the historic three-story Elmwood Court was heavily damaged.
Chief Robert Czerwinski said crews did an initial sweep of the building to ensure no one was inside. All the tenants had gotten out safely; two are out of town.
"We were having a tough time fighting it," said Czerwinski at around 8 p.m. "We're keeping a crew here over night to make sure it doesn't start back up."
The chief said the fire started in the basement and moved through the attic, helped along by the 160-year-old building's balloon construction.
The department received a call of smoke in the basement at about 12:30 Saturday afternoon. As the large fire moved through the 28 apartments, Pittsfield called surrounding towns for mutual aid.
Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, Lenox, Hinsdale and Richmond responded. The state's Fire Services Division also responded to provide support and coordination.
Czerwinski said the investigation "will start in earnest in the morning."
The local Red Cross chapter was helping any of the 45 or so tenants in need of aid.
The original mansion was built by Edward Learned, an industrialist and financier, in 1854 and was later known as one of the Berkshire cottages. It housed Miss Hall's School for the first decade of the last century and then was an inn, before being turned into apartments.
The property is owned by Cavalier S.E. Properties LLC, based in Egremont, which purchased it in 2004 from MP Bartlett Realty Trust for $1.1 million.
Updated and rewritten throughout at 9:12 p.m., May 14, 2011.
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 26.
Kareen D. Beckett, 33, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one count of assault and battery in connections to a November 22, 2009 incident.
Beckett also pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and batter and intimidation of a witness on the same victim - a 50-year-old woman. Those incidents occurred on September 28, 2009 and January 3, 2010.
Ford sentenced Beckett to serve concurrent three to four year at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the rape charges. He was also given concurrent sentences at the Berkshire County House of Corrections on the other charges.
Timothy M. Lewis, 34, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
He was sentenced to a one year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Two additional charges of distribution of cocaine and a single count of drug violation in a school zone were dismissed by the state. Lewis was arrested on April 26, 2010.