Man Arrested After Berkshire Bank Robbery Monday Morning
At about 10:50 in the morning, officers responded to a reported robbery of Berkshire Bank branch on Elm Street.
Two hours later, police arrested 37-year-old Christopher Rock in connection with the crime.
Police say the suspect showed a note to a teller demanding money "in certain denominations" and then fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash.
The suspect was identified on surveillance video and witness accounts. Sgt. James Parise and his K9 were able to track down "additional evidence."
Police obtained a Seymour Street address where the suspect could be found and he was arrested without incident. Rock's last known address was in Lee.
Rock is being charged with unarmed robbery and possession of heroin. He will be arranged in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday morning.
The branch is closed for the rest of the day but is expected to re-open on Tuesday.
It is the second financial institution robbed within the last week. Police are still investigating a robbery of the Greylock Federal Credit Union, also on Elm Street, last Wednesday.
Pittsfield School Bus Involved in Minor Traffic Accident
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Westfield man was cited Wednesday for a rear-end collision that involved a Pittsfield Public Schools bus on East Street.
The accident occurred at approximately 3:37 p.m. when a 2012 Honda Civic operated by Anthony Disanto of Westfield rear-ended a 2009 Nissan Versa, operated by Daniel Hammer of Pittsfield, which then struck the bus.
The school bus was stopped in traffic on East Street near the intersection with First Street. The school bus was transporting approximately 19 elementary school-aged children. The collision caused Hammer's vehicle to be pushed into the rear end of the stopped school bus.
The school bus was not dropping children off at the time of the collision. The bus driver was waiting for the signal light at East and First to change. No injuries were reported.
Traffic Officer Michael Silver investigated the accident. Disanto was cited for failure to use care in stopping.
Pittsfield Police Investigating Robbery of Greylock Credit Union Branch
Police say at about 10:30 in the morning officers responded to the credit union for the robbery.
According to police, a woman, described as being in her 20s with a slim build, had passed a note to a teller — no weapons were shown — and then left with an undetermined amount of cash.
The suspect is described as wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, baseball cap, and ripped jeans. She was carrying a large purse and then fled in an unknown direction of travel.
Police do not believe there is any danger to the public and nobody was injured at the time. Police are asking any additional witnesses or anyone who may have information to contact the detective bureau.
Police are also asking to see any video surveillance systems around the Elm Street, Pollock Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue, and the surrounding areas.
Officials at Greylock Federal Credit Union praised the way the employees had followed protocols and were happy that no one had been hurt during the incident.
"In these types of unfortunate circumstances, our No. 1 concern is for the safety of our employees and our members," Chief Risk Officer Jeffrey Gerard said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
"We are pleased that all employees reacted in exactly the way they are trained to do. We appreciate the prompt response of local law enforcement and we are cooperating fully with the investigation being conducted by the Pittsfield Police Department."
It is the second time in six years that branch was robbed. In 2012, two individuals were arrested in Boston after robbing the credit union under similar circumstances.
North Adams Man Charged In Fatal Hit And Run Accident
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 32-year-old North Adams man was arraigned Friday on charges related to the fatal accident last week that killed Alan Keefe of Pittsfield.
Brian Dillard is accused of crashing a stolen pickup truck he was driving into the 49-year-old Keefe, who was operating a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, on Linden Street and then fleeing the scene. The accident occurred at about 5:40 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24.
He was arrested by North Adams Police on Thursday evening on an outstanding warrant and transferred to Central Berkshire District Court on Friday afternoon to answer to the motor vehicle homicide charges.
Dillard was ordered to be held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction on two counts of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and single counts of leaving the scene of property damage, leaving the scene of personal injury and death, and motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation.
According to the probable cause report filed by Pittsfield Police in District Court, Dillard was an employee of Cariddi Auto Sales and allegedly took one of the shop's trucks to purchase heroin in Pittsfield. Police say Dillard had picked up his paycheck in North Adams but nobody say how he left the property.
Dillard allegedly hit Keefe's motorcycle while driving a shop-owned truck and then left it on South John Street and fled on foot.
When contacted by police that his vehicle had been found connected to the crash, Cariddi Auto Sales owner Guy Cariddi said he was unaware the vehicle was missing that Friday. The truck was apparently at the business at 5 p.m. when he had left for the day, unsecured with the keys in it. He later confirmed it was missing and reported it stolen to the North Adams Police Department.
Police received a number of statements from witnesses at the scene and then posted a photo of the truck on Facebook asking for any information about the driver.
Two witnesses provided statements with descriptions that matched Dillard, according to the police report. One witness said he had seen the vehicle in the neighborhood multiple times. Another woman provided a statement that she had been asked, and provided, Dilliard a ride back to North Adams. A co-worker of Dillard reported the two had gone separate ways that evening to purchase heroin and reconvened in North Adams later. Another witness identified Dillard from a series of mugshots provided by the North Adams Police.
On Tuesday, North Adams Police made an arrest in a breaking and entering case, also involving Cariddi's Auto Sales, and the man arrested provided a statement that he was friends with Dillard and was told about the situation.
Dillard had previously had his licenses revoked for an operating under the influence of drugs charge in 2016. In 2015, he also had two guilty findings of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
Arson Ruled on Three Boylston Street Fires in Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three fires on Boylston Street have all been ruled arson.
Authorities are now asking for any information on the series of fires — and even offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that helps solve the case.
"All of these fires were intentionally set. We ask anyone with information to contact the toll-free Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229. All calls are confidential," said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey in a statement released on Wednesday.
The most recent blaze was at 26 Boylston St. was on Aug. 26, when a vacant structure was set on fire. Prior to that, there were structure fires at 24 Boylston and at 32-34 Boylston.
"An intentionally set fire causes concern in the community and an arrest is the quickest way to help the community return to normal," Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said in a statement.