BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — A Bristol couple has been accused of committing a string of violent robberies across Connecticut.
Lonny Cross, 44, and 40-year-old Rebecca Barbera robbed dozens of businesses in September and October, according to an announcement Wednesday from U.S. States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery. Cross is also facing a narcotics distribution charge.
The two are accused of robbing more than 30 gas station convenience stores, mini markets, and liquor stores in more than 20 municipalities. Some of the robberies happened within minutes of each other, according to Avery.
Authorities said Barbera would enter the store to get information, Cross would come in with a knife or gun and rob them, and then they would drive off.
The robbed stores were in North Branford, Waterbury, Wolcott, Plymouth, New Haven, North Haven, Orange, West Haven, Wethersfield, Bristol, Southington, Naugatuck, Watertown, Franklin, Norwich, Waterford, Groton City, Stonington, Ledyard, Darien, Norwalk, Stratford, and Seymour, according to Avery.
Officials searched the couple’s home on Oct. 14 and found clothing that was seen in the robberies, along with 54 bags of heroin and crack cocaine. There were 120 bags of heroin and 14 grams of crack cocaine in the car, as well.
Cross was on parole at the time, according to Avery. Barbara is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.
If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison.
It isn’t an unusual pattern to see, according to North Branford Deputy Chief James Lovelace.
“From time to time, we’ll see these type of incidents occur with the same suspects in the rash going through innocence, going through a number of towns,” Lovelace said.
According to police, one of the stores the couple attempted to rob is Cumberland Farms in North Branford.
“I was told he came in, she had her back to the door,” said Brittnie Bruno, who works at the store. “He put his arms around [an employee] and held a knife to her. If I was there any longer, because sometimes I run late, that could have been me.”
Bruno said her coworker refused to hand over money, and then the suspect ran off.
After hearing about the arrests, she’s relieved.
“I’m just glad they got caught, and everything is good,” Bruno said.