Barre City Police Det. Roland Tousignant is trying to solve a puzzle. Who held up two clerks at the North End Deli New Year's Eve? And why would the robber choose an unusual disguise?
"She actually thought it was a joke," Tousignant said. "She said he walked in and she said, 'what do you want?' Thought it was somebody just fooling around."
Robbers hiding their faces are nothing new. Vermont police have tracked suspects who used wigs and sunglasses, Halloween costumes, face bandages, even backward sweatshirts with holes cut in them.
Reporter Kristin Kelly: Have you ever encountered a duct tape disguise before?
Det. Roland Tousignant: That's a first (laughs).
The bandit in Barre chose duct tape, and chose to put it on in the store parking lot where there's a security camera.
Det. Roland Tousignant: He stopped right there where you can see him taking out a roll of duct tape, where he tore off some strips to put them over his face to cover up his face for the robbery.
Kristin Kelly: So he was disguising his face on camera?
Det. Roland Tousignant: Yes.
The robber taped up his entire face, leaving his eyes and mouth free. The store manager told us off camera the tape seemed to make it hard for him to speak; it was tough to understand him at first. But police say it took him less than a minute to indicate he had a weapon in his pocket, grab the cash drawer and take off. Investigators looked for duct tape and the drawer outside, but no luck.
Kristin Kelly: So no sign of him.
Det. Roland Tousignant: No sign.
Kristin Kelly: No idea?
Det. Roland Tousignant: No.
Kristin Kelly: So the disguise worked for now?
Det. Roland Tousignant: For now.
So while the detective tries to turn up leads, he's also thinking about the suspect having to rip all that tape off his face.
"There's a little bit of justice in that," Tousignant said.
Police say along with duct tape, the bandit was wearing black pants and a gray zip-front sweatshirt with an emblem on the shoulder. They hope to hear from anyone with information at 802-476-6613.
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