Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Amherst Bank robbery!

Northampton Cooperative Bank, 390 College Street, Amherst

2: 25 PM UPDATE: My friends at the Springfield Republican are reporting that Belchertown Police nabbed the perps.
Another unarmed robbery. This time it's Northampton Cooperative Bank on lower College Street, around noonish. All schools went into lockdown for 35 minutes or so (code name "hurricane"). Police are on the scene. Lieutenant Ronald A. Young described this one, however, as "different" from the previous heist in town center five months ago by a young couple with a drug problem.

Lieutenant Young (back to camera)

Message from the Superintendent:

All district schools were placed in "lockdown" status effective 12:00 p.m. today, September 20, 2011. This action was a result of a robbery which occurred at a commercial building in the vicinity of Fort River School. Lockdown status means that all windows and doors are locked and no one is permitted to enter or leave the building for any reason. Instruction continued as normal until 12:35 when we received clearance from the Amherst Police Department to come out of lockdown status after the robbery suspects were apprehended in Belchertown. Principals report that staff and students did an outstanding job of following all district safety protocols throughout the lockdown process. As with all such instances, the district will use today's lockdown as an opportunity to assess our processes and procedures to determine if there are areas for improvement. If children, or parents, have questions or concerns about today's lockdown or safety in general, please contact your Principal or your school's guidance counselor.


DaveMB said...

The Gazette also reports that Lt. Young crashed his cruiser into some trees on Route 9 while in pursuit of the suspects, apparently because an oncoming car failed to yield. He was wearing a seat belt and was not injured but the cruiser is in bad shape.

WV: "grantst" -- my former address in Gardner MA

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, I hear the driver was 82 years old.

Anonymous said...

What is up with the lock down in the schools? Maybe it's time Maria G. spent a little more time making absolutely sure all kids were learning than making sure to protect our kids from unarmed bank robbers!

Larry Kelley said...

Better safe than sorry.

The Schools (at least the one I viewed up close and personal) did a great job.

Anonymous said...

YOu know, the funny thing about the schools is...they told my kids it was because of a hurricane. My kids were really freaked out about "the hurricane!" More than they think they would have been about "robbers."

Anonymous said...

What a stupid comment. Yeah, blame Maria for keeping the children safe.

Anonymous said...

".they told my kids it was because of a hurricane."

Not the best choice of a code word in this year of natural disasters.

Hopefully "tornado" isn't code for anything in the western MA area- kids (and adults!) in the tornado area are absolutely terrified of storms

Anonymous said...

Maria G's going to give you much better opportunities than this one, mate.

Keep your powder dry.

Anonymous said...

You people are way beyond pathetic. The schools go into lockdown in a real situation, as they have been trained to do, and you see it as an opportunity to take another swing with the bat at the supt's head.

That's very human of you.

Anonymous said...

Who are "you people"? We know that Maria G is in way over her head, but, if the bank robbers had fled into the Fort River School, she would have been hung in effigy for not locking down the school.

That's a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

This is why every superintendent leaves. The town is filled with mean-spirited losers that make it impossible to do their job.

Larry Kelley said...

Oh, I think the highest paid public employee in a municipality should have tough enough skin.

After all, it goes with the territory. (I'm sure dealing with helicopter parents is far worse.)

Anonymous said...

Locking down the school next to an armed robbery makes sense -- but all the other schools too? That's hard to understand. What was the thinking was that led to this decision.

Larry Kelley said...

I asked a reliable source and here is her response (which I happen to agree with):

"I was immediately asked to prepare an initial statement that all schools were in lock down except Crocker Farm and Pelham.

Within 5 minutes of the first call, the Superintendent had changed the order to not take any chances and to lock down all schools.

Regardless, when the call came in, we did not know whether it was an armed robbery.

The best course of action is just to lockdown everywhere. We would not take a chance with kids safety, and the thought of 3 desperate people in a car with weapons, maybe high on drugs, etc., certainly lacking in any judgement if they just were filmed robbing a bank, makes us act in the most conservative way."

Anonymous said...

"Maria G's going to give you much better opportunities than this one, mate.

Keep your powder dry."

Oh yes.


Anonymous said...

As for the code word- Amherst Regional sports teams are named The Hurricanes

Anonymous said...


Did I criticise the lock down itself? No, I mentioned that the school told my kids it was because of a huricane. The younger one was really scared, and the older one realizes that she can no longer believe what the school tells her. Nice.


Anonymous said...

Wow--my kids write beautifully.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say the town is filled with mean spirited losers, as an earlier post states; but I would say there are some (maybe just a few) mean spirited people who have been grinding the same axe with the town for as long as I've been here, almost 30 years.


It must take a lot of energy to stay pissed off enough to keep voicing your same complaints, year after year.

Are you getting tired of that rut yet? Isn't your life worth more than staying pissed at the town for whatever reason?

I would hope. Otherwise, the town that made you angry also has control over your well being.

Let it go, my friend. Or be an angry person all your life. Seems like a no brainer to me.