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Two Charged In Connection With LaGrangeville Tobacco Shop Robbery

Jessica L. Merck, 27, of Cottekill
Jessica L. Merck, 27, of Cottekill Photo Credit: Dutchess County Sheriff's Office
Michael J. Sanfilippo, 38, of Pleasant Valley
Michael J. Sanfilippo, 38, of Pleasant Valley Photo Credit: Dutchess County Sheriff's Office
Smokes 4 Less, a LaGrangeville store that sells tobacco, cigars and smoking accessories.
Smokes 4 Less, a LaGrangeville store that sells tobacco, cigars and smoking accessories. Photo Credit: Google Maps screen shot

LAGRANGE, N.Y. - Two people have been arrested in connection with the robbery of a LaGrangeville tobacco shop by a baseball-bat wielding robber Tuesday, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Jessica L. Merck, 27, of Cottekill  and Michael J. Sanfilippo, 38, of Pleasant Valley have each been charged with one count of robbery in the first degree, which is a felony, the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office said.

Both are accused of taking part in the robbery  at Smokes 4 Less - a chain store that sells cigars, cigarettes, vape pens and smoking accessories - during which cash and cigarettes were stolen after the clerk was threatened with a baseball bat, the sheriff's office said.

A short time later, the pair were stopped by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police and interviewed at the sheriff’s office, and were then taken into custody at the conclusion of the interviews. The stolen property totals approximately $ 1,182 in cash and cigarettes, the clerk was not struck with the bat and no one was hurt during the robbery, reports the sheriff's office.

After being processed, both were arraigned before the Town of LaGrange Court, after which they were remanded to the Dutchess County Jail – Sanfilippo on no bail and Merck on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

The investigation is continuing to determine if either defendant may be connected to other similar incidents in Dutchess County.

If anyone has any information on this robbery or other similar crimes in Dutchess County they are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 845-486-3820, and ask for Detective Harris. The Sheriff’s Office can also be contacted via the tipline at 845-605-CLUE (2583) or email at dcsotips@gmail.com, and all tips will be kept confidential.

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