Bank robbery in Sunderland; Shelter-in-place order at nearby school

SUNDERLAND, Mass. (WWLP) – Students at an elementary school in Franklin County were ordered to shelter in place early Wednesday afternoon, due to a robbery at a nearby bank.

According to Sunderland police, around 12:30, a man with a bandana over his face walked into the Greenfield Cooperative Bank on Amherst Road (Route 116) and handed the teller a note. No weapon was shown, but the suspect made off with cash.

Sunderland Elementary SchoolFrontier and Union 38 Regional School District Superintendent Martha Barrett told 22News that as police searched for the suspect, the shelter-in-place order was issued at Sunderland Elementary School, which is a very short distance from the bank.

During that time, classes continued as normal, but students were not let outside for recess. Deerfield police officers went to the school to help ensure safety.

Meanwhile, Sunderland officers and a police dog from the Montague police department tried to find the suspect. The dog tracked the suspect to Blue Heron Rest, where a witness told officers that a man fitting the robber’s description was seen getting into a white car.

The suspect is described as a black man about 5’5″ to 5’8″ tall and weighing about 160 pounds. At the time of the robbery, he was wearing tan pants, a dark zip-up hoodie, a dark hat, in addition to the bandana.

State troopers, members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, environmental police officers, and Leverett police officers also assisted Sunderland police with their investigation.

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