EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 30, 2014

Police: Group of robbers targeted city stores

Three charged in series of armed robberies

HAVERHILL — The man charged with using a knife to rob two local stores is part of a group of robbers operating in Haverhill, police said.

The group includes Matthew Clougherty, 19, who was charged last week in the knifepoint robberies, and two other people arrested on Tuesday, police said.

The trio sometimes acted together in a series of four armed robberies during the last two months and other times acted alone, investigators said.

Clougherty was arraigned Monday in Haverhill District Court on two counts of armed robbery. He was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

Police said he will be joined at that hearing by Cristina Gatzimas, 32, of 93 Evergreen Drive, and Shane Valido, 30, of 49 Varnum St.

Gatzimas and Valido were arraigned yesterday in Haverhill District Court on charges of armed robbery and were ordered held without bail pending dangerousness hearings tomorrow.

A dangerousness hearing determines whether suspects will continue to be held or be released on bail.

Clougherty, a Dover, N.H., native who was sharing an apartment in Haverhill, surrendered to police on Saturday after officers obtained a warrant for his arrest in connection to the Dec. 9 robbery of the Quik Mart at 764 Main St. He was also charged with the Jan. 22 robbery of the American Grocery store at 426 Main St.

Police said Clougherty asked for cigarettes at American Grocery and then showed a knife, demanding money from the cash register. He left the store with money and got away in a two-door silver car, police said.

Clougherty was also charged with the armed robbery of Quality Liquors at 185 S. Elm St. Police said he entered the store on Jan. 21 at 11:15 a.m., and asked for cigarettes.

He then showed a knife and demanded money, police said. He ran from the store with cash, police said.

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