Police make arrest in robbery cases
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | March 05,2013
Police say an anonymous tip led to the arrest of a Rutland man believed to be responsible for a robbery in Wallingford and two attempted robberies in Rutland City on Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning.
Todd Bussino, 27, of Rutland, was arrested Monday after police say he admitted to all three robberies. He was taken to the Rutland jail where he remains held on $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in Rutland criminal court Wednesday to answer to three felony counts of assault and robbery.
Rutland Police Detective Robert Gorruso said Monday that investigators were led to Bussino by an anonymous caller who said Bussino looked like the man captured in a surveillance camera image from one of the robberies.
“We went and compared his picture to the surveillance shot and we said ‘Wow, that’s him,’” Gorruso said.
During an interview Monday with state police and city detectives, Bussino allegedly admitted to committing all three robberies which he said were committed to purchase crack cocaine.
It’s not the first time that Bussino has been charged with robbery or attempted robbery to support a drug addiction.
Last April, Bussino and another man were arrested for robbing a pair of convenience stores on South Main Street in Rutland. In one of those attempts — neither of which yielded any money — Bussino allegedly threatened to use a knife to cut a clerk at Mac’s convenience store.
When the clerk refused to empty the register, he allegedly tried to reach into it but was repelled after the clerk slammed his fingers in the drawer, according to court records.
As he turned to flee, the clerk threw several items at him, including a stapler which struck him in the head, police said.
Bussino was initially charged with assault and robbery in the two incidents last year. However, the charges were amended in November to a felony count of larceny from a person. Bussino pleaded innocent to the charge which is still pending.
In the latest robbery charges, police say Bussino threatened to use an unidentified weapon on clerks at the Cumberland Farms in Wallingford and the Walgreens pharmacy and Burger King in Rutland if they didn’t empty their registers.
At the Cumberland Farms, which was robbed at 5:30 p.m. Friday, a clerk told police she handed over the contents of her drawer after Bussino threatened to hurt her and a clerk who tried to follow him gave up the chase after Bussino allegedly threatened to shoot him.
In Rutland, Bussino allegedly made similar threats but with worse results.
At the Walgreens, Gorruso said the clerk at the register at 1:13 a.m. Saturday refused to meet Bussino’s demands.
“He came up and said ‘I’m robbing you.’ She said ‘No you’re not and called for her manager,’” the detective said.
Bussino allegedly left the pharmacy soon after, hid his coat behind a building and walked into the Burger King on the other side of nearby North Main Street.
In the restaurant, Bussino allegedly threatened a clerk who retreated into a nearby office and locked the door. From that vantage point, the clerk told police she saw a man who police believe to be Bussino trying to force open the register.
When it wouldn’t open, Bussino allegedly left the restaurant.
Police say that video surveillance from all three crime scenes appeared to be Bussino.