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Council, police honor Bellerose

Sergeant's work in arrest of bank robbery suspect is lauded

Police Chief Daniel Charette, left, presents Sgt. Steven Bellerose with his Outstanding Service Award. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
July 27, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — The Town Council and police department honored Sgt. Steven Bellerose Monday with an outstanding service award for his role in capturing an alleged multiple bank robber in late June.

To Bellerose, it was simply a matter of "just doing my job."

Chief Daniel Charette said the call came in about 4:20 p.m. on June 28 as a bank robbery at the Southbridge Savings Bank branch at Big Y. At the time, a teller identified the suspect as "a male wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses" and being "the same guy from the Spencer robbery."

Shortly thereafter, Bellerose stopped a silver Honda at Hamilton and West Main streets and believed the driver matched that "very vague description," Charette said. After arresting Brian Vigneault, 40, of Monson, on one count of unarmed robbery, Bellerose found $2,340 in cash, crushed methadone pills and a hat and sunglasses resembling the disguise clothing in the vehicle.

That started a broader investigation, including "an administrative broadcast [that] was sent to [police] agencies across New England," Sgt. Ryan Roettger wrote in a brief letter commending Bellerose.

Over the next few days, Roettger wrote, he received calls from the FBI and departments in Spencer, Holyoke, East Longmeadow, Portland, Maine, and Westerly, R.I., all of whom "were investigating Vigneault as suspect in similar type bank robberies/larcenies."

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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