Police investigating Northeast Kingdom crime spree

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 4:21 PM EDT
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ORLEANS, Vt. (WCAX) - A crime spree in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom-- police say armed robbers have hit five businesses in Orleans County, all within 20 miles of each other.

Brownington resident Beverly Poginy says the recent crime wave has residents of the rural Northeast Kingdom on edge.

“There is a feeling of tension and we are used to being laid back and peaceful and friendly and kind, and now all of a sudden all of this nastiness is coming and yeah, it hurts,” Poginy said.

Vermont State Police say they are investigating five armed robberies, all at Orleans County businesses. The first was Dec. 1. The most recent was in mid-April. Now police are trying to figure out if they are related.

“It appears that a few of them may be connected but we are still investigating to figure that out,” Vt. State Police Lt. Jason Letourneau said.

Letourneau says three of the unsolved crimes happened in Orleans, at the Subway, Family Dollar and North Country Federal Credit Union. The fourth happened at the TD Bank in Barton and the fifth at the Family Dollar in North Troy. In most of the robberies, the suspects made off with cash. We don’t know how much.

“There has been a variety of different weapons, everything from a gun to a knife to the threat of a weapon,” Letourneau said.

Surveillance photos give some clues. The suspects are described as white men, some of them around 6-feet tall with an average build. One wore a wig. Others are described as much shorter. Police say that masks during the pandemic have made it harder to identify suspects.

“In a few of them they do not look like the same person and a couple, they could be,” Letourneau said.

The motive is under investigation.

“If history repeats itself, likely a majority of them are drug-related,” Letourneau said.

Police say no one has been hurt in the spree.

They are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect so that everyone stays safe.

“That’s the thing with these cases, these are very dangerous things,” Letourneau said.

Meanwhile, residents like Poginy are on edge.

“Definitely, yes,” she said. “You look at everybody now different, like could that be a person who broke into the store?”

Related Story:

Police trying to connect the dots in string of Northeast Kingdom robberies

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