BENNINGTON >> Police are investigating an armed robbery at Martin's Gulf and Laser Wash that happened Thursday.
Bennington Police said that at 8:05 p.m. officers responded to the gas station and car wash, located at 336 North Street, for a report a male had entered the gas station attendant's booth, brandishing a gun and demanding money from the clerk. He appeared to flee on foot in an unknown direction.
The male is described as being white, 5' 8" tall, with a thin build, wearing a dark pullover hoodie, jeans, and a red bandanna.
There has been an unusual number of armed robberies in Bennington in the past year.
On Jan. 8, Subway on North Street was robbed at gunpoint. Hours later, Paulin's in North Bennington was similarly robbed. Early in the morning on Jan. 11, two employees of Martin's Mobile Mini Mart were held up at gunpoint while making a night deposit at a nearby bank.
Two men have pleaded not guilty to the Martin's robbery. One of them was also charged with robbing the North Street Subway at knifepoint in July.
This week, two women pleaded not guilty to aiding a man in a home invasion that occurred in December. The male is being held by New York authorities after being arrested there. Police say he held the caretaker of an elderly woman at gunpoint while stealing a box of person items from the home.
There was another robbery at Paulin's in November. The perpetrator was carrying a crowbar.
Willy's Variety on Gage Street was robbed in October. A male entered the store in the morning hours and brandished a pistol at an employee. The family that owns the store has posted a $750 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Bennington Police have released surveillance photos and video from a number of these robberies and are seeking information from the public.
The Willy's Variety robbery spurred a number of people into forming the Bennington Neighborhood Watch, which uses a Facebook page to communicate with its members. When the group met in late January, it invited Bennington Police to come and speak. There, Detective Larry Cole, who has been the lead investigator on most of these incidents, said there are people giving good information, but police can go no further with cases because witnesses are too afraid to attach themselves to the cases. Cole said their fears are largely unfounded.
— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115