Two arrested in Western Union robbery

BRIDGEPORT – Police have cracked the 4-month-old robbery of the local Western Union office with the arrest Friday of two New York men.

Angelo Vinson, 54, and Joseph Smith, 42, were arrested following a 10-week investigation that took local detectives to New York and Pennsylvania. Both men were arrested in New York and waived extradition here.

Vinson was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful restraint and second-degree larceny. His bond was set at $400,000. Smith was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit second-degree larceny and was being held in lieu of $250,000 bond.

 “This was a complex investigation. I can’t say enough about the work the detectives put in and the help we received from patrol officers and the U.S. Marshal’s Service,” said Capt. James Viadero, the supervisor of the detective bureau. “A lot of hours were put into this case. The investigation took us to three states.”

On Feb. 7, two men walked into the Western Union office at 2390 Main St., shortly before 9 a.m., according to police. One of the men requested a money order. As the employee was beginning the transaction, police said the two men forced open the door leading to the rear counter. The men punched and pistol whipped the employee and forced him into a back room where they bound him with duct tape, police said. The two men then fled with more than $8,000.

Video from the downtown train station showed the two robbers arriving on a Metro North train from the New York area the morning of the robbery, police said.

During the investigation, police said detectives visited locations in New York and Pennsylvania and gained new information that ultimately led to a positive identification from the victim of one of the suspects.

Daniel Tepfer