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A security camera caught the robbery of the People’s United Bank on Main Street in Brattleboro.

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Anatomy of three robberies

Police documents tell stories of addiction escalated to desperation

BRATTLEBORO—Early on a warm Monday afternoon on June 29, the echo from police sirens ricocheted off the downtown buildings. A hold-up alarm had been triggered at the People’s United Bank on Main Street.

According to court documents, suspect Jared R. Fahmy walked into the the bank at approximately 12:45 p.m. He wrote a note at the check writing station and passed it to a teller.

The affidavit written by the Brattleboro Police Department states that Fahmy’s note read, “this is a robbery; give me all your 100’s and 50’s and no dye packets.”

The teller later told police that she gave Fahmy $4,000 in $100 and $50 denominations.

Police investigations lead law enforcement to Fahmy. The department learned that Fahmy, originally from New Hampshire, left a mental health and addiction treatment program at the Brattleboro Retreat on June 25.

In the affidavit, Det. Greg Eaton detailed a conversation with Fahmy’s father.

“He was concerned that his son may overdose on heroin,” wrote Eaton. “[The father] stated to me that his son has severe depression and anxiety disorders.”

Fahmy turned himself over to Brattleboro Police on July 12, almost two weeks after the robbery.

Police say that Christina Kelley committed two other robberies that week, only days apart.

According to court documents, on June 26, Kelley robbed the McDonald’s on Putney Road. Kelley passed one employee “a threatening note demanding money,” police wrote. The employee gave Kelley approximately $200 in $20 bills.

Four days later, police allege that Kelley appeared at Dunkin’ Donuts on Putney Road and gave an employee a note that read, “Don’t make any fast movements keep your hands above the counter where I can see them, If you make any sudden movements, I will hurt you I have I have a gun! don’t temp me! Give me all your cash. NOW!”

Kelley later told police that she didn’t get any money there.

Brattleboro Police later tracked Kelley to a room at America’s Best Inn a few doors away from both restaurants. There, detectives found clothing that matched witness descriptions.

According to a police affidavit, Kelley told detectives that she spent the money she stole on drugs. She also told police that she did not bring weapons to the robberies and did not plan to hurt anyone.

A June 8 affidavit from the department outlines Kelley’s attempt to shoplift approximately $27.47 worth of items from Hannaford grocery store, also on Putney Road.

According to Brattleboro Capt. Mark Carignan, when Kelley appeared in Windham Criminal Court, the judge noted with concern how the suspect’s behavior had escalated so quickly from shoplifting to face-to-face robberies.

A danger for violence existed in that situation, Carignan said, imagining the scenario: What if another citizen had walked into the establishment carrying a legal gun?

Addiction is a societal problem, he said — and, ideally, society would catch someone’s addiction before it becomes a problem that involves law enforcement and the judicial system.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #315 (Wednesday, July 22, 2015). This story appeared on page A3.

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