Armed robber arrested


WESTFIELD – A city man who has admitted to bringing his wife and infant daughter with him when he robbed two city businesses at gunpoint recently has been arrested by city police and arraigned in Westfield District Court.
City detectives began the investigation Monday, Sept. 10, when the owner of Quick Food on Southwick Road reported at 9:32 p.m. that he had been robbed minutes earlier.
The victim told police that a man wearing a hoodie, a hat, sunglasses and gloves brandished a black and brown handgun when he said “Give me the money! Give me the money!”
The victim told police that he gave the man $2, 824 in a bank bag that happened to also contain a set of keys to the store.
The store owner also said that the person who had entered the store immediately prior to the robbery had not bought anything but only inquired about the winning lottery numbers for the previous day. The owner said that he noticed that although it was raining heavily and there were many open parking spaces immediately in front of the store, the woman had parked in an unlit area at the side of the building.
Less than a week later, a clerk at the Quality Inn on Southampton Road reported at 10:50 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, that she had been robbed at gunpoint – also by a man wearing a hoodie, a hat, sunglasses and gloves – and had surrendered about $200 to a gunman she said had brandished a black and tan pistol.
Det. Brian Freeman reports in a court document that video evidence from both robberies showed that the suspect at the Quality Inn robbery “was dressed almost the same as the person that robbed the Quick Food Store.”
At the Quality Inn, the investigators got assistance from the Longmeadow Police Department’s K-9 team which tracked the suspect from the motel office to an area on Arch Road where “the K-9 officer said it appeared that the suspect got into a vehicle.”
Video evidence from a nearby business showed that a vehicle had been parked in the area where the police dog lost the track and detectives were able to identify it as a Chevrolet Spark, an uncommon car.
A review of police contacts with drivers of that model vehicle showed that the mother of a known person (who was the subject of three outstanding warrants) owned one.
Capt. Michael McCabe said the suspect, David Bettro, “is known to us” and said that the detectives were able to develop sufficient probable cause “to obtain and execute a warrant for the vehicle and the residence of the primary suspect.”
Freeman reports that when he and other detectives went to the trailer park where Bettro lives, at 868 Southampton Road, he encountered Bettro outside and, when the suspect realized the detective was a police officer, he fled on a mountain bike. Freeman reports “I gave chase on foot. As I caught him and grabbed ahold of his shirt, we collided with a responding unmarked police car.”
Bettro was able to flee on foot but Freeman chased him down and caught him about 100 yards north of the park. There, Freeman reports, Bettro “actively resisted arrest and turned towards me with a bladed stance with a clenched fist.”
Bettro was subdued with assistance from Det. James Renaudette and the search warrant was executed inside his trailer where his wife and infant daughter were found.
Detectives seized a black and brown handgun, clothing that matched what the videos showed the robber wearing during the crimes and the pajama pants that his wife wore when she went into the Quick Food store before the robbery there.
The detectives found the bank bag which had contained the cash stolen from the convenience store in a dumpster at the trailer park.
Freeman reports that both Bettro and his wife were interviewed separately. Both admitted that Bettro committed both robberies and that his wife drove the car, with their infant daughter in the car during both crimes.
Bettro also admitted to committing a robbery in Holyoke and police there were advised.
David M. Bettro, 34, of 868 Southampton Road, Unit 72, Westfield, was arrested for two charges of armed and masked robbery, two charges of child endangerment and a single charge of resisting arrest.
He was arraigned on those charges before Judge William O’Grady in Westfield District Court Thursday and was held without right to bail pending a dangerousness hearing Sept 26.
McCabe said that similar charges are “in progress” and will be filed against Jolene Bettro, 34, also of 868 Southampton Road, Unit 72, Westfield.

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