Robbery suspects appear in court
Nov 19, 2012 (The Keene Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Two men facing charges of armed robbery were arraigned in a Keene court this morning after separate incidents over the weekend.
Bail for Justin Robinson, 22, of 9 Wetmore St., was set at $50,000 in 8th Circuit Court District Division in Keene. He is charged with one count each of armed robbery and reckless conduct.
Robinson is accused of pulling a gun in two incidents early Saturday morning, including one in which he allegedly robbed a person of a sweatshirt at gunpoint on the Keene State College campus.
Also arraigned this morning was Saithe R. Corliss, 21, who police said lives at 72B Mechanic St. in Keene, but according to court documents lives at 10 Fitzwilliam Road in Troy.
Corliss is accused of holding up the Ingenuity Country Store in Central Square at knifepoint Friday night.
The charges against Robinson allege he used a gun in two incidents.
The first incident was reported to Keene police just after 1 a.m. and involved a man reportedly pulling a gun after an altercation at 85 Winchester St. The man then fled toward the college campus, and he was described to police as a white male with with blond hair, wearing blue jeans, no shirt and a Boston Bruins "old-style goaltender's mask," police said.
The second incident, which took place just a few minutes after the first, wasn't reported to police until 2:42 a.m. According to Keene police, the second call came from a student at Carle Hall, who said her boyfriend was robbed of his sweatshirt at gunpoint by a man who then ran away.
The college was in lockdown until about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
According to an affidavit from Keene police detective Robert F. Collinsworth, the events leading to Robinson's arrest unfolded as follows:
Three females told police a party had taken place in the basement of 85 Winchester St. Friday night and into Saturday morning when a fight broke out. During the altercation, a male displayed a firearm.
Ryan Thibeault, a deejay at the party, told police one of the men involved in the fight drew a gun, pointed it at him and said, "If you know what is good for you, you will run."
Police also interviewed Rebecca Powers and Taylor Starbird, who said that while walking in the area of the campus dining commons, they were approached by a shirtless male who displayed a handgun and pointed it at them, demanding they hand over a sweatshirt before cocking the weapon and pointing it at them again.
Starbird provided the sweatshirt to the suspect, who allegedly apologized and offered to return it later, asking Taylor for his phone number before placing a call to him.
The man then called Starbird, so he would have his phone number. Starbird later provided that phone number to police, who determined it is associated with Adam Anderson. Police had already spoken with Anderson, who was also a deejay at the Winchester Street party.
Police determined that Anderson also lives at 9 Wetmore St., where Robinson resides.
In a video arraignment this morning, Robinson called the incident a case of mistaken identity, saying he was the one who had a gun pulled on him at the party, and he placed the initial call to police.
Robinson has a probable cause hearing Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m.
The charges against Corliss came after he allegedly robbed the Ingenuity Country Store in Central Square at knifepoint Friday evening.
Employees said a man entered the store at about 5:45 p.m. wearing an orange sweatshirt, tan pants and a fake beard before approaching the counter to purchase a postcard.
The man jumped on the counter when the clerk opened the register, grabbing an undisclosed amount of cash while wielding a curved knife, employees said. They said the robber rode off on a bicycle.
Employees said the man had been coming into the store regularly over the past week, usually bringing items to the counter before claiming he'd forgotten his money and saying he'd be right back. In each case the man did not return.
Keene police were looking into the possibility that the same suspect unsuccessfully attempted to rob a bank in Troy earlier Friday, but could not confirm whether the two incidents were related.
According to a police affidavit, an employee told police she'd asked the man for his name during one of those visits, and he told her it was "Saithe," and later identified him in police photographs.
After obtaining a warrant for Corliss, police received a call Saturday that a man wearing a fake beard had held up the Elm Street Market wi knife before escaping on a bicycle, police said.
Police located Corliss a short time later at the apartment with the same tan pants and gloves worn in both robberies, according to the affidavit.
In a video arraignment this morning, Corliss asked Judge Edward Burke if he could be placed in a substance abuse rehabilitation facility, and if he could be allowed to go to work so he doesn't lose his job.
"We're a long way from getting there," Burke said regarding a transfer to a rehab facility. "And it's premature to ask for work release because you haven't been convicted of anything yet."
Corliss was free on bail after he was charged with theft by deception for an April incident in which he allegedly took $750 from another person, according to court documents.
Corliss was supposed to appear in court to answer those charges Dec. 14.
Burke set bail for Corliss at $25,000 cash for the armed robbery charges, and $5,000 cash for the outstanding charges.
Kyle Jarvis can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1433, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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