Police release surveillance photo in Fitzgerald’s robbery

Southborough Police have released a photo of a suspect involved in last week’s armed robbery at Fitzgerald’s General Store. Authorities say the man entered the store last Wednesday, brandished a knife, and removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the register.

The suspect is described as a white man, 6′ to 6’3″ tall, weighing about 300 pounds, and wearing black pants, a purple shirt, black sunglasses, a black Carhartt wool hat and black boots.

Take a look at the photo below. If you recognize the individual, or if you have any other information regarding the crime, please contact Detective Sean McCarthy at 508-485-2121.

(Click to enlarge)

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Alan
10 years ago

I have been wondering why I recieved two reverse phone calls last week warning me of the summer nights traffic but didn’t get one about a man running around Southborough with a knife?

Carol Willoughby
10 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan, he wasn’t “running around Southborough”. He robbed Fitzy’s and took off. By the time you would have gotten the reversed 911 call, he was already out of town… not “running around”.

Rachel
10 years ago

I thought reverse calls were able to go to cell phones, now. I don’t remember getting a call about anything lately.

Karen
10 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

I thought so, too. Back in January I registered our Google voice and cell phone number with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department. We have not received any calls so far.

footballdad
10 years ago

Can someone please explain to me why it took SPD almost a full week to release this photo? I am by no means an expert on criminal investigations, but I would assume that the aim would be to get the photo out ASAP. I really starting to wonder about the ability of our police department.

Carol Willoughby
10 years ago
Reply to  footballdad

Our police deparment is a very hard working, dedicated department. With the rash of break-ins we’ve had, there is a lot of work to be done on ALL cases. This is compounded with the decrease in officers on all shifts. We, as taxpayers need to increase the budget for public safety, including fire and EMS. Instead of complaining, come up with a solution to help make our community safer.

footballdad
10 years ago

Carol,

I’m sorry but 6 days to post a picture! You are talking about something that takes 5 minutes to do!

Alan
10 years ago

footballdad

Not to worry, the SPD were sitting in Fitzgeralds parking lot today at 11:00 AM. I guess they are waiting for the next robbery.

Oh, and don’t forget to lock your back doors, oh wait, that doesn’t matter, or does it????????

Alan
10 years ago

Carol,

How was anyone to know they weren’t running around town at that time? The people living across the street probably would have liked to known asap so they could lock there front doors or asked the kids in from the yard. I first heard about the robbery that night from someone in Hopkinton and they read it online from some type of blog / news web site. Why is it another town lets there residents know asap and Southborough residents hear about it later? If SPD couldn’t find them maybe someone else could have seen them and gave them a tip. They asked for our help, now they need to help us help them. An armed and dangerous man couldn’t be a better use of the reverse phone call system. If the Cell phone reverse call system worked even better as I might have been driving in the area.

As for the staffing at SPD, I think we should have 6 patrol cars on duty at all times so you have no argument from me there. But to defend the lack of performance, If it was an under performing school system would you be defending them to? No you would be pointing the finger at them and asking why. Why does the SPD get spared public criticism when they are under perfroming.

I had to make several trips on Rt 9 a few Saturdays ago at night over a period of a few hours and saw three cruisers setting speed traps and pulling people over. I thought three cruisers was the standard staff for a SPD shift. With the “rash” of breakins is this the best way for them to use there time. Who was patroling your road during those hours.

I will complain and have been. The solution is to hire more officers to the staff and more daily patrols. Our police and fire departments need to grow as the community grows and unfortunetly it hasn’t. Both the fire and police chiefs have tried to tell the community this for years and it has fallen on deaf ears. If you had gone to any of the town meetings or followed the selectmans meetings you would have known this.

Lt. Sean James
10 years ago

I appreciate all of the public’s comments but please allow me to explain why we don’t disseminate the information immediately. Our investigators are networked with over 1000 detectives throughout the state. We first publish the information to the detectives for their input. If we don’t get a response we forward the information to the public, via the television news, and local media. I can not get into detail why this is done but feel free to call me and I will explain. Thank you Lt. Sean James

Resident
10 years ago
Reply to  Lt. Sean James

Thank you Lt. James. Some always feel the need to criticize rather than give the benefit of the doubt. When I read the comment above I thought “I am sure there is a perfectly valid reason for not releasing such a photo immediately.” Now we know what that is.

Thanks for all the hard work that you and our police department do. And I agree completely with Carol above. Our public safety departments have gotten squeezed for the past few years where their budgets are concerned. Someone needs to get the message that we can’t expect them to protect us adequately without enough manpower or other resources. We have a platinum school system and needy public safety departments. I hope it does not take a tragedy to make people see this wide disparity.

Mark Ford
10 years ago
Reply to  Resident

I’d like to see recent comparative data for our town’s cohort group–I believe we were right in the middle for our police/fire budgets a few years ago. They indeed do a great job.

Townie
10 years ago

It’s amazing to me how quick we are to criticize the police department, I think they have always done a great job protecting us! That’s one of the reason I still live here and raise my kids here! I have lived in this town myself since I was a toddler. So great job southborough police department, keep up the great work!

Alan
10 years ago

All in all over the years our police department has done a good job, and yes I too am a townie.

That being said I find it odd that people get offended if we criticize the SPD when so much time has passed since the crimes have happened and we hear no news of progress and then some one says “So great job southborough police department, keep up the good work” when the fact remains no one has been caught for any of the breakins or the robbery. Is it wrong for the taxpayer to exspect results from what they are paying for.

I can’t remember the last time I got a “Great job” at my work when i didn’t complete a task.

I will save my praise for later when I see some results, at that time I will eat my words and post a “great job” on this blog. Until then I will remain feeling unsafe and unprotected. Even if the SPD said they had “leads” I would start feeling safer, but all I hear is silance.

Again I am all for increasing the SPD staff and giving them the equipment they need, I do keep seeing a trend of what the SPD askes for and says it needs getting voted down at TM.

Al Hamilton
10 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan

Can you cite an example of when Town Meeting failed to provide the monies requested by the police department?

Alan
10 years ago

Al,

Sorrry, I thought this post had died out.

2010 – police budget reduced by $5000 by recomendations by the advisory commity.

Were you on the commity at that time? You can explain this away any way you would like but I am not back tracking every annual report for past 10 years to make a personel list for you as this could go on and on. The point being is I think some people think the SPD need more personel and updated equipment.

And while this post was happening another break in has occured. I feel bad for those people. I feel bad for my neighbores who got broken into. And I worry about coming home everyday to my own house.

Al Hamilton
10 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan

I assume you mean the 2010 Annual Meeting which approved the FY 2011 budget. I went back into the Advisory Web Site where the history is kept:

The formal PD request was for $1.59 million. Remember that the formal request comes from the Board of Selectmen, the elected body responsible for the PD. The Advisory Committee agreed with the request from the PD as approved by the BOS for the same number.

John Butler
10 years ago

As I noted in an earlier story about this topic, actual police spending has not been reduced in any recent year. Almost all of the large budgets in the Town are funded at less than their staff initially requests in the budget process. That any department said, at some time in the process, that they should get more money, means absolutely nothing. Sometimes Town Meeting votes for less than is requested, but most spending, police included, goes up year after year.

In response to Mark Ford’s question, our Police department is funded somewhat lower as a percent of total budget than other Towns that are comparable to us. It is notable in the State data and notable among our departments. It might mean that it is due for more of an increase than other departments, but we would need to look more carefully at the State statistics to see if they are actually useful for comparison. My opinion is that would probably be worth investigating, as part of a complete review, but what the answer would be, I’m not sure offhand.

Lastly, and on the main topic, we should not expect that a bigger than usual increase to the Police budget will have any effect on crime, even if it may be justified on other grounds. (My hypothesis would be that more police spending per capita correlates with higher crime in the community, an obviously spurious correlation that suggests that crime is not going to help with budget planning, unless it is a purely emotional help.) The key to budgeting is examining reasonable external standards and believing that any proposed increases are well spent.

The key to minimizing this type of crime is having an alert community that reports suspicious activity.

Townie
10 years ago

Alan,
Just a quick note before I sell my computer and vow never to read a blog again! Is Michael graham on your payroll? the SPD is not the FBI! Do you realize the SPD only has one detective? Similar size communities have 3 on average. I know this only because after reading your post I began to wonder, so i asked. Like a wild smoker searching for that lost pack of smokes, I tore through area departments trying to find a similar pattern in staffing. Well, big surprise, it didn’t exist. O, I apologize I believe there are a number of communities in the berrkshires that find themselves Ill equipped as well however, i think they still use bear traps to catch the bad guys! There are only so many hours in the day, and so much one person can do…….take a breath and let our officers, excuse me, in this case, our detective do his job!

Alan
10 years ago

John, Thanks for your comments. I am especially concerned with your last sentance. I have talked to many in the community as well as watched my close neighbors and am not convinced they know what to be alert about and find them, no insult intended, timid about making the call to the police. I also have some wonderful neighbors that have come to America from other contries (very well off neighbors) that do not understand the strong American feeling of standing up for one’s self and that making noise about something that seems wrong or is wrong is ok to do. There community structure seems very differant.

I know the police had a meeting about this but most of the prople I talked to have no idea it even happened.

On your other comments, is there not a standard for the amount of police on duty based on a towns population? I know there was a study years ago but am not sure where Southborough stands at this point.

Alan
10 years ago

Townie,

This is my last post on this subject as well. The fact that you do not agree with me is ok and what blogs are about. The fact that I am frustrated with the situation that is hapening in town and I am frustated with the SPD does not mean I hate them. The fact that I say they are not performing means I feel we need to change things. I have stated I think we need to add more personel to the department. Is the fact that we havn’t seen results because we only have one detective and as you said there is only enough time in the day that one person can do? Do we need two detectives?

The fact that you did the research that you have done makes me feel good and I hope other people have been thinking about the crime issue as well, I know I have.

Please do not stop reading this blog because I have frustated you on this one issue. I have read your posts before and because your have lived in town as long as you have like myself, you have a lot to contribute, I have agreed with you many times on other issues in the past.

I will remain frustrated until this is solved. I will continue to be very frustrated every day I open my door when I get home and wonder what I will find or not find.

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