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Pittsfield Investigating Three Robberies

Pittsfield Police Department

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is investigating three robberies that have occurred in the last three weeks.

On Sunday, June 12, the Convenience Plus on Linden Street was robbed at gun point.  The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, with black hair and a beard.  The suspect was described as wearing all black.   The weapon was described as a black handgun.

On Saturday, June 18, the Convenience Plus on Tyler Street was robbed at gun point.  The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds.  The suspect was described as wearing a gray fleece jacket, blue and gray striped pajama pants, and a bucket style hat with an argyle pattern which was black, white, and gray in color.  The weapon was described as a black handgun.

On Friday, June 24 the CVS on West Street was robbed.  The suspect stated he had a gun but he did not display it.  The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 5’10” – 6 feet tall, and weighing approximately 170 pounds.  The suspect was described as wearing a blue nylon pullover jacket, blue jeans, white sneakers, and a pink hat.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.

 

 

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EV Worldwide Partner Guilty Of Fraud

Andy McKeever

Updated December 1, 2011 at 4:11 p.m. : Christopher Willson was sentenced on Tuesday to one year and one day in federal prison and must pay $100,000 in restitution to the Federal Transit Administration and $215,138 to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority by U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel in Boston, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


BOSTON — Christopher Willson, who dazzled Pittsfield in 1999 with promises of bringing 1,000 jobs to former General Electric land, was convicted Tuesday for taking the money and running.

The former chief scientist and business partner with EV Worldwide LLC from 2000 to 2005 was convicted in federal court Tuesday on defrauding the federal government of more than $700,000, according to multiple reports from The Associated Press. The conviction was on six counts of wire fraud.

EV Worldwide received up to  $1.35 million in federal grant money to start up a company developing electric batteries for public buses. The company later reeled in additional grant money. However, the money required an equal match.

EV Worldwide was later accused of doctoring paperwork to show that match. The verdict found Willson guilty of obtaining more than $700,000 after submitting 10 fake or inflated invoices that claimed to match the grant money.

Willson faces a maximum of 120 years in prison and will return to court for sentencing on Oct. 6.

EV Worldwide had the city buzzing in the early part of the millennium with the grant money. Pittsfield officials jumped on board with the idea by granting the company an additional $250,000 from the GE Economic Development Fund to move into a vacant industrial building — the GL&V Development Center at 448 Hubbard Ave.

The company was going to develop a nickel-hydrogen battery to feed into what was, at the time, expected to be a booming market in electric and hybrid vehicles under its subsidiary ElectraStor LLC.

The company never got off the ground.

In 2001, residents saw the first signs of trouble when the state began probing the city's grant agreement during an investigation of the city's finances. The other shoe dropped in 2008; then EV Worldwide CEO Michael J. Armitage was charged with fraud and money laundering.

In 2010, Armitage signed a plea agreement admitting to misusing up to $4 million in federal grant money between 2000 and 2006.

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Cheshire Woman Charged With Embezzlement

Andy McKeever

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Cheshire woman was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court Monday on embezzlement charges for allegedly taking about $110,000 from her job at TD Bank.

Jennifer Thurston, 39, had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of embezzlement by a bank employee and larceny over $250.

Judge Mary Lou Rup released her on personal recognizance. Thurston allegedly took approximately $110,000 from the bank between February 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009. The investigation was conducted by the Pittsfield Police Department.

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Pittsfield Police Investigating Armed Robbery

Pittsfield Police Department

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. 

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Reward Offered in Pittsfield High Theft

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Police Department is investigating a theft of several thousands of dollars from Pittsfield High School. 

The incident is believed to have occurred during a senior "prank night" during the overnight hours of Wednesday, May 25, and Thursday, May 26. 

Reports say about $9,000 was removed from a teachers' desk. The stolen funds were intended to be used for senior events including the senior banquet, class trip and prom.

There is a reward of $500 for information leading to the identity of the responsible party or parties. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. 

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