Windsor man arrested for White River Junction bank robbery in car full of friends and cash in Massachusetts

Submitted 15 days ago
Created by
Eric Francis

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - Late Monday afternoon troopers from the Massachusetts State Police spotted a vehicle on Interstate 91 southbound near Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts and arrested the suspect from Monday afternoon's robbery of the Mascoma Bank branch in downtown White River Junction.

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    Stephen Lynch, 28, a former Windsor resident, was a passenger in the car along with three other people: driver Katelyn "Katie" Grizzaffi, 23, of Lebanon, New Hamsphire; Corey Riendeau, 21, of Hartland, and Andrea (Boisvert) Gilbert.

    Based on the surveillance photos taken at the bank, police believe Lynch, who goes by the street nickname "Joker," was the robber.

    Lynch is currently being detained in Massachusetts on a charge of receiving stolen property while he awaits extradition back to Vermont to face charges.

    Detectives interviewed Lynch after his arrest and said he confessed to the robbery, allegedly saying that he was in South Royalton when he texted Grizzaffi and asked if she would drive him to rob a bank and then take him to Connecticut so they could buy heroin.

    Lynch reportedly told the detectives that he made the decision to rob the Mascoma Bank branch while the group was driving along Maple Street because he noticed there were only two cars in the parking lot at the time.

    Grizzaffi also spoke to police in Massachusetts, reportedly explaining that she and her friends waited on a side street for 15 minutes after Lynch pointed out which bank he wanted to rob.  Police said she reported that Lynch had given her $1,020 and attempted to give Riendeau another $500 but she said Riendeau refused to take it.

    Lynch told police that shortly after the robbery he had the group make one stop so that he could pay off a $1,500 drug debt to a local dealer from whom he had previously purchased methamphetamine.  He also reportedly admitted that he did not actually have a gun during the bank robbery.

    Massachusetts troopers stopped Grizzaffi's blue 2007 Subaru Impreza around 3:45 p.m. and ordered all four occupants out at gunpoint.  Troopers said they found large amounts of cash on both Lynch and Grizzaffi and located a taser tucked in the driver's side door of her car.

    After Grizzaffi told police that she did not have a license to carry the taser in Massachusetts and that the car belonged to her mother she was detained there for lack of $20,000 bail.

        Gilbert told troopers that she is Lynch's girlfriend, according to the police report.

    Hartford Police Chief Phil Kasten said Tuesday that the investigation continues and additional arrests and charges are pending.    

     Hartford Police Detective Scott Moody, in an affidavit filed with the court seeking an emergency arrest warrant for Lynch, wrote that just after 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon Lynch approached a teller at the Mascoma Bank on Maple Street and passed a note implying he had a weapon and demanded cash.

    "I have a gun.  Listen & will be fine.  Need $5,000/normal bills.   No dye packs.  Please keep hands where I can see them," read the note, which was taken into evidence by police.

    The affidavit said that bank teller Holly Veda handed over the money and then she and several other tellers inside the bank pushed their silent alarm buttons and alerted Hartford police. 
    The robber was seen running in front of the neighboring Cota & Cota fuel company building and then onto Barnes Avenue where a Vermont State Police tracking dog later came to a dead-end after about 50 yards worth of footprints, suggesting that the robber had gotten into a waiting vehicle.
    There were other customers inside the bank at the time of the incident.  No one was injured.


    Within minutes of Monday afternoon's robbery officers from the Hartford Police were joined by Norwich and Lebanon Police, and troopers from the Vermont State Police – including a K-9 Team, according to Hartford Police Chief Kasten's press release.  

    The Hartford School District was also contacted to request a “lock-out” at the three area schools. While there was not an immediate threat to the schools, the White River School, Hartford Memorial Middle School and Hartford High School were in close enough proximity to the robbery that the police and school district felt the precaution was appropriate given the suspect was at large.  
    During the “lock-out”, the school continued regular operations inside the building, but took additional measures, including a delay in the afternoon dismissal, until it was determined the suspect was not in the immediate area and posed no threat to students departing the campus or buses making drop-offs in the area of the incident.  Police maintained a perimeter around the area and a presence at or adjacent to the schools once students were released.

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