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Pittsfield Bank Robbery Suspect Nabbed in Boston
Staff Reports On: 03:49PM / Thursday April 05, 2012
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Updated Friday, April 6, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.:
Brenda Santos had a not guilty plea Friday morning in Central Berkshire District Court on a single count unarmed robbery. Santos is being accused of robbing Greylock Federal Credit Union on March 30.

Judge Rita Koenigs ordered that Santos be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $250,000 cash or $2.5 million surety bail. Santos is scheduled to return to court on May 4.



PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police said a woman suspected in Friday's robbery of the Greylock Federal Credit Union was arrested Wednesday in Boston after her companions were reported for suspicious activity.

Brenda Santos, 22, and her alleged accomplice in the Greylock robbery, Brandon Wood, 31, were arraigned Wednesday in Brookline District Court.

Both are described as being homeless in Boston but Wood is believed to be from the Pittsfield area.

Santos is being charged with unarmed robbery of the Greylock branch on Elm Street. Wood is charged with being an accessory before the fact and accessory after the fact of the Greylock robbery.

Santos, Wood and William Curtin, 26, of Dedham, are also facing conspiracy charges, according to the Boston Globe, regarding suspicious activity at two Boston area banks on Wednesday.

The Globe reports that a man wearing a hooded sweat shirt, sunglasses and hat left the Brookline Bank on Beacon Street after being asked to remove his glasses but met with an individual dressed in similar fashion outside. Another Beacon Street bank reported later in the day that a man of the same description was acting suspicious.

Police tracked the suspects to a hotel and found evidence of the Pittsfield bank robbery. Santos was arrested at the same time.

The Boston office of the FBI violent crimes task force and the Brookline Police Department are cooperating in the investigation.



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Pittsfield Woman Critically Injured In New York Car Crash
Staff Reports On: 03:28PM / Wednesday April 04, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city woman in in critical condition after a three-vehicle collision in upstate New York on Tuesday evening.

According to a report on Masslive.com, Allana Lewis, 27, was taken to Berkshire Medical Center after the 4 p.m. crash in Amenia, N.Y.

New York Police say Lewis was a passenger in a  southbound car that was hit head-on while travelling on Route 22. The northbound car was pushed into southbound lane after being rear-ended by a FedEx van.

All three drivers were taken to Sharon Hospital in Sharon, Conn. The other drivers injuries were not considered life threatening. Lewis was later transferred to Berkshire Medical Center, according to MassLive.

The van driver was ticketed for following too closely.


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Chimney Fire Displaces Five Clarksburg Residents
By Andy McKeever On: 06:08PM / Tuesday April 03, 2012
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The fire started n the chimney and expanded into roof.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Five people are displaced after a fire significantly damaged a portion of their River Road home early Tuesday morning.

Firefighters responded to the home owned by Britni Maxwell at 540 River Rd. for a report of a chimney fire at about 12:30 a.m.

The 911 call was placed by Maxwell's cousin after the two women and three children escaped the home. There were no injuries.

The cell phone call had to be initially redirected and by the time they arrived, the blaze had expanded into a structure fire in the roof.

However, firefighters were able to get the flames under control within 15 minutes, according to Fire Chief Carlyle "Chip" Chesbro. Firefighters remained on scene until about 4 a.m.

"The fire was burning alongside the chimney at the roof line," Chesbro said Tuesday afternoon. "Once the trucks got there, we were able to knock it down quickly."

The Fire Department attacked the flames from the inside while mutual aid from Stamford, Vt., assisted from the outside and supplied water. The North Adams Fire Department was on standby.

"The chimney caused the fire. It was in disrepair. But luckily it was external," Chesbro said and added that it is important for residents to keep a close eye on the condition of their chimneys.

The roof to that section of the house was severely damaged and by Tuesday afternoon family friends had already put a tarp over it to protect it. A larger section of the home was undamaged.

The house is insured but it is unclear when the family will be able to move back in. They are currently staying with family.

Chesbro said that once the damaged section is boarded up and utilities are secured, they "should be able to live in it."


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Pittsfield Police Release Photos of Suspected Bank Robber
Staff Reports On: 04:35PM / Monday April 02, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass.— Police released security photos of the woman who is suspected to have robbed an Elm Street bank.

On Friday, a female dressed in a baseball hat and sunglasses robbed Greylock Federal Credit Union.

She took off running toward Harry's Supermarket with an undisclosed amount of money. Police performed an extensive search but to no avail.

In hopes of gaining information from the public, Police released photos of the suspect on Monday.

Citizens with any information are asked to contact the Police Department's Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.


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Pittsfield Woman Dies In Apartment Fire
By Andy McKeever On: 12:08PM / Sunday April 01, 2012
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UPDATED April 2, 2012 at 1:23 p.m.

Investigators determined that the fire was accidental and caused by improper disposal of smoking materials.



Mayor Daniel Bianchi received a briefing of the incident from Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An Orchard Street fire that killed a city woman early Sunday morning is being considered an accident.

The body of Claudette Roberts, 59, was discovered by firefighters in her first-floor apartment at 91 Orchard St.

"Right now there are no flags pointing to it as suspicious," said Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski at the scene. "We're looking for an accidental cause. Most of the fire was contained to the apartment of origin."

The three-alarm blaze was reported by a number of 911 calls at about 4:16 a.m. Czerwinski said they were notified that someone was likely still in the apartment and firefighters mounted "an aggressive attack" on the unit.

It was not clear when the fire began but smoke was pouring out onto the porch and flames could be seen in the unit when firefighters arrived.

There was heavy fire damage to Roberts' apartment on the right side of the three-apartment building and to the rear of the second-floor. Czerwinski estimated the damage at about $100,000 but thought the building was salvageable.

Four people living in the other two apartments had to flee the building. The Red Cross was aiding them in finding shelter for the short-term. Roberts lived alone.

A state fire marshal was at the scene and North Adams Fire Director and Wire Inspector Stephen Meranti was inspecting the wiring at the city's request. The investigation is being conducted by the office of the fire marshal, the Pittsfield Fire and Police departments and the state police Crime Scene Services Section.

The Dalton Fire Department also responded to the scene and Lenox and Lanesborough provided backup.

According to the district attorney's office, Roberts' body will be taken to the office of the chief medical examiner in Boston, where an autopsy will be performed, likely on Monday.

There was some damage to the second floor apartment so the residents are displaced.




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News Headlines
Mount Greylock Debates Lanesborough School Union Vote
Adams Narrowing Down Town Administrator Applicants
North Adams Happenings: Oct. 21-28
Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 24-30
Atlas Private Wealth Management Moving to North Adams
Lanesborough Officials Debate School Spending
Adams Seeks Fix to Visitors Center's Ineffective Geothermal System
Mount Greylock Committee Taking Up Delayed Superintendent Search
North Adams to Williamstown Bike Path Public Meeting Set
Pittsfield Schools Review Teacher Evaluation Process
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State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
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Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263

 



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