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December 08. 2013 9:20PM

Manchester man charged in series of store robberies

MANCHESTER — Police say a man who attempted to rob a local convenience store Sunday but was scared off after a clerk produced a weapon of her own — a wooden pole — has been charged in two prior robberies at the same store.

Manchester police were called to the Shop-N-Go convenience mart at 188 Massabesic Street around 8 a.m. Sunday to investigate a report of an attempted armed robbery.

Police said a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses entered the store and confronted a female clerk, reportedly telling the clerk that he had a weapon and demanding money, though police say a weapon was never shown.

“He had a hand in a pocket, and said he was armed,” said Manchester police Sgt. Ryan Grant.

Police say the clerk hit the man with a wooden pole she had hidden near the checkout counter, and the man fled the store without taking anything.

The clerk told police she watched the man run across the street and into an apartment.

“She followed him out of the store, and was able to identify what apartment he went into,” said Grant.

Manchester police arrested Russell Bivins, 27, of 137 Massabesic Street, on a charge of robbery.

On Sunday afternoon, detectives began looking into whether Bivins fit descriptions of a robber involved in two prior robberies at the same store, one at 11:22 a.m. this past Saturday and one on Thanksgiving. In both cases, the thief claimed to have a weapon, though none was shown, and left with an undisclosed amount of money. Police would not release the total dollar amount Bivins is alleged to have stolen.

Police charged Bivins late Sunday with two additional counts of robbery, in connection with the prior Shop-N-Go robberies. He is scheduled to be arraigned today at Manchester District Court.

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