Man robs store at knifepoint over Doritos, roll of toilet paper

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jan 14, 2015

Springfield, MA (WSHM) — Springfield police arrested a man who they say robbed a convenience store at knifepoint in the city’s Forest Park neighborhood after his card was declined early Tuesday morning.

The alleged robber walked into the Sunoco gas station and convenience store located at 730 Sumner Ave. at about 2:30 a.m. and went up and down the aisle grabbing merchandise, according to Springfield police Sgt. John Delaney.

The suspect, later identified as Steven Tavarez, brought the items to the counter and attempted to pay with a New York State Benefit Card that was issued to Steven Tavarez. The bill came to $14.24, but the card was declined as it had insufficient funds in the account.

“The suspect then became enraged and yelled and spit at the clerk,” Delaney said.

Tavarez pulled out a switchblade knife and assaulted and threatened to kill the clerk before he left the store, Delaney said.

He grabbed the merchandise, which was a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, a turkey and cheese sandwich, a V8 V-Fusion beverage, a large bottle of Poland Spring water, a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and a roll of toilet paper, and ran from the scene down White Street.

Responding officers put the description out of the armed robber and a few moments later Officers Joseph Levesque and Christian Cicero spotted Tavarez at the intersection of White and Stafford streets.

Tavarez was positively identified as the armed robber by the clerk and police located the stolen merchandise, a switchblade and his New York Benefit card in his possession.

“If you’re gonna rob a convenience store you probably shouldn’t give the clerk your ID card,” Delaney said.

Police charged 23-year-old Steven A. Tavarez, of 18 Keith St., Springfield, with armed robbery with a knife, destruction of real property and threatening to murder.

Tavarez was held overnight in police lock-up and will be arraigned on Tuesday in Springfield Court.