SPD: Man threatened clerk after EBT card declined

Springfield police were called to the Sunoco gas station at 730 Sumner Avenue after two suspects allegedly showed a knife.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield police say that a man threatened a convenience store clerk with a switchblade knife, after his EBT card was declined.

Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Steven Tavarez, 23, of Springfield is charged with armed robbery, threat to murder, and destruction of real property in connection with the Tuesday morning incident at the Sunoco station at Sumner Avenue and White Street.

Steven Tavarez, 23, of Springfield is accused of robbing the Sunoco station at Sumner Avenue and White Street. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department
Steven Tavarez, 23, of Springfield is accused of robbing the Sunoco station at Sumner Avenue and White Street. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department

According to Delaney, police were called to the store at around 2:30 A.M., where a store clerk explained what took place. The clerk said that a Hispanic man in his early 20’s had gone to the register to purchase a turkey sandwich, a bag of Doritos, a V8 juice, and toilet paper. The man presented the clerk with a New York State Benefit Card (issued to Steven Tavarez) in order to pay for the items. The clerk swiped the card, and told the would-be customer that there were no funds in the account.

Enraged, Delaney says the man began yelling, spat at the clerk, and then pulled out a switchblade; threatening him with the weapon. He then allegedly threatened to kill the clerk before running out with the merchandise he tried to buy.

Items taken in the robbery, Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department
Items taken in the robbery, Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department

The description of the suspect was given out to other officers, and a few minutes later, police found Tavarez farther down White Street. Delaney says that Tavarez was carrying the stolen merchandise, as well as a switchblade and his New York EBT card. He says that the clerk also positively identified Tavarez as the suspect in the robbery.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Springfield District Court.

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