There are plenty of leads for the Whitehall Village Police Department.
For Chief Matt Dickinson, the challenge remains the same: sort out the credible ones from the rest.
“They are trying to link them all together,” said Dickinson concerning the recent string of robberies that included the CVS pharmacy in Whitehall last month. “There’s evidence that suggests that this is a handful of people committing these crimes. They could all be related.”
The most recent lead in the case involves a witness coming forward to say that they saw a white Jetta near the scene of the Jan. 5 crime, where a man entered the CVS pharmacy in Whitehall and stole prescription medicine at gunpoint.
“We are looking for an older model Jetta with the box-ier look,” said Dickinson. “Unfortunately, we did not get a plate number with the car. We are not 100 percent on the car, but we are pretty much certain that this was connected to the crime.”
Dickinson said that the video surveillance available on the night of the robbery did put the witness at the scene of the crime. He also said that the witness approached police about the new information after talking with friends.
“The witness came forward three weeks after the crime took place because he didn’t think that the information would matter until after he was talking with friends,” said Dickinson. “The witness was there and that was confirmed by the security cameras. We are following up on this lead as we speak.”
Dickinson said that there are a number of Vermont State Police investigators still on the case, and that he has access to a New York State Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) officer on call.
“We are diligently and actively pursuing this case,” said Dickinson. “We are trying to keep up with the daily operations of the department as well. It’s not going to go cold, I can tell you that.”
Dickinson said that one situation the investigators are facing is that there are a number of possible suspects that are being worked on to determine if they could be connected to the crime in Whitehall.
“Every village and town has its own suspect that does match the description,” said Dickinson. “There have also been other robberies throughout the month, most recently in Killington and Ludlow.”
Dickinson said that there has been an increasing problem with the abuse and theft of prescription drugs, which he feels could be the “hot” drug of the current generation.
“I think that the abuse of prescriptions is going to be the downfall of this generation,” said Dickinson. “We were always taught to avoid alcohol and illicit drugs. Prescriptions were not a big deal when I was in high school. Now, it’s a full-blown issue.”
To combat the problem, Dickinson said that he was looking into a way to join with the school to talk about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.
“Right now I have been talking with the school officials and I am trying to set up some new drug programs in the high school,” said Dickinson.