Woman says heroin, not Christmas presents, reason behind gas station robbery
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | December 24,2013
BRATTLEBORO — A Claremont, N.H., woman pleaded innocent Monday to charges of assault and robbery of the Exit 6 Sunoco in Rockingham on Friday — a robbery she initially told police was an attempt to get money to buy Christmas presents. She later admitted it was to get money to buy heroin.
Shannon T. Vick, 41, was also charged with petty larceny in connection with the robbery of the Singh Brothers Sunoco. According to court documents, Vick took $199.05 in the robbery. No one was hurt in the robbery, and Vick showed a air pellet gun during the robbery.
Vick, who state police said had fresh needle marks on an arm, had told police that she was a recovering addict. Vick told police that her current husband is in jail in Massachusetts for drug charges and is facing bank robbery charges in New Hampshire.
Vick was released on conditions that she report daily to the Springfield Police Department and sign a $500 unsecured bond.
Vick’s court-appointed attorney, Joanne Baltz, said Vick cared for her eight-year-old son, who is autistic, during the week and she said Vick had no resources to post any kind of bail. The boy lives with his father, Vick’s ex-husband, on the weekend, Baltz said.
Windham Superior Court Judge Katherine Hayes said she was concerned about Vick’s son, in agreeing to release her with the daily reporting conditions, along with the $500 unsecured bond.
But, the judge said, addicts are unreliable. Vick had previously lived in Windsor, and also used the names Shannon Moore or Shannon Regan, according to court records.
Vick had been arrested shortly after the Friday afternoon holdup, according to court documents. Vermont State Police, responding to an alarm at the gas station on Route 103, said they saw Vick’s vehicle near the Bellows Falls Country Club and arrested her. Police said Vick made self-incriminating statements to them.
Vermont State Police Lt. Tim Oliver, in responding to the scene of the robbery, noticed a black Volkswagen Jetta on Country Club Road, and the car was operated by a noticeably short female.
Initially, Vick told Oliver she wasn’t involved in the robbery and was willing to return to the gas station with him, and she said she had never been there before.
But when Oliver and Vick pulled in to the gas station, the woman “became noticeably fidgety and stated, ‘I needed gas money. I’m so sorry.’”
Vick told Oliver she didn’t have any gas money and that she needed to get home to pick up her son at 3 p.m.
When Vick was transported to the Vermont State Police barracks in Rockingham, $187 was found in her bra.
Vick later told police she had been unemployed for a year, and she was a former heroin addict and her current husband is also a heroin addict.
“Vick said she has been stressed over getting Christmas presents for her family, who live in the south, because she has no money,” police reported.
She also told police that she used a black air-soft gun, which shoots plastic balls and drove around for a couple of hours before targeting the Exit 6 Sunoco.
And she told police that she did not point the gun at anyone but held it sideways.
“She did not want to hurt anyone, she just felt very desperate,” wrote one of the Vermont State Police officers.
Eyewitnesses at the gas station had told police that a lone woman dressed in black with a handgun robbed the store and fled north on Route 103 driving a black Volkswagen. The store employees said the woman was noticeably short and had some type of mask over the lower portion of her face.