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Knife-wielding robbers target two stores in Manchester
MANCHESTER — One store clerk had a knife put to her throat, while an owner and clerk at another store fought off another knife-wielding robber with a shovel and a bat in two robberies Sunday in the city.
Police made an arrest in one of the incidents but continue to search for the second robber.
The first robbery was at Cumberland Farms, 217 Union St., just after 9 a.m. Sunday.
The 41-year-old assistant manager told police a masked man entered the store, grabbed her and put a knife to her throat. He demanded money and police said he got it from her register and also from a second register where a 54-year-old clerk was standing.
The assistant manager had red marks on her neck as a result of the attack, according to police.
The robber is described as a 6-foot white man wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt, black pants, black boots and a black winter mask over his face. He had light-colored eyes and a deep voice with a heavy Boston accent.
The second robbery happened just after 1 p.m. at N&K Market, 374 Pearl St. The robber entered the store brandishing a knife and demanding money. He first pointed the knife at the 37-year-old clerk, but the employee broke free and ran to the back of the store where he grabbed a shovel to defend himself.
In the meantime, the robber turned his attention to the 44-year-old owner behind the counter. Police said the owner grabbed a bat, stored under the counter, and swung it at the robber who fled the store without getting any money.
The owner and employee told police they noticed a yellow SUV in the area just before the robbery. A moment later, Officer Lucas Hobbs spotted an SUV matching the description at Maple and Bridges streets and pulled it over. The passenger, identified by police as Jotnell St. Pierre, 19, of 416 Smyth Road, fit the description of the robber.
Based on further investigation, St. Pierre was linked to the robbery and arrested on charges of robbery and criminal threatening. Police said they recovered a large serrated bread knife, believed used in the robbery, from the SUV.
St. Pierre was then charged with being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon.
St. Pierre was arraigned Monday in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, on felony charges of robbery, felon in possession of a deadly weapon and criminal threatening.
In requesting $50,000 cash/surety bail, a police prosecutor said St. Pierre was convicted in July in Hillsborough County Superior Court North of bail jumping. St. Pierre also has a robbery conviction.
Bail conditions include no contact with the store clerk and not going to the N&K Market. Because no plea can be entered to a felony charge in circuit court, a probable cause hearing was set for Dec. 23.
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