Investigations are ongoing as police look for suspects in an armed robbery in East Middlebury. The initial incident occurred on the night of Jan. 6, when a man wearing green and dark-colored clothing, carrying a handgun, entered Mac’s Convenience Store a few minutes before 9 p.m. The suspect fired a round into the floor before confronting the clerk and taking an unknown amount of cash from the register. Upon leaving the establishment, the suspect fired an additional round at the ceiling, then fled on foot.
On Thursday, Jan. 9, the police were again called to the store to investigate another burglary, in which a suspect forced open a window and a door. The police are withholding what was stolen in this second incident.
For a town that experienced only five instances of violent crime in 2018, the robbery comes as a surprise. “Nothing like that happens out here … This is usually a pretty quiet village,” said East Middlebury resident Linda Kelton. “It felt like we’ve been invaded – and we still don’t know if it’s someone from town [who is] and living among us, which is pretty unsettling.”
According to the Middlebury Police Department, no-one has expressed to the department feeling particularly unsafe or expressed heightened concern.
Mac’s was previously robbed in 2008 by Addison County Resident Anthony Carosella. According to a Middlebury police report, Carosella, 23, entered the store on Sept. 16 and demanded cash from the clerk while displaying a firearm. He fled the scene with an undetermined amount of cash. That fall of 2008, Carosella was involved in a involved in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in Vermont that was led by individuals from Bronx, N.Y. During this time, Carosella also held up several pharmacies in Addison and Chittenden counties to steal pharmaceuticals. In 2011, Carosella pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 months in prison. He also has to pay $98,460.62 in restitution to businesses affected by these crimes.
In light of January’s robberies, Kelton, the East Middlebury resident, said that she has stepped up security measures at home — she makes it a point to lock doors and turn on her home alarm system every night — and has been more cautious with her belongings following the robbery.
“[The fact that it was an] armed robbery shook us up a little more than if it wasn’t [an armed robbery],” she said. “It made us realize [that] some people are just so desperate that they feel the need to do these things.”
The investigations are still ongoing, and anyone with information about either incident is asked to contact the Middlebury Police Department.