New Bedford Armed Robber Sentenced to Prison
Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
November 3, 2020
A 29-year-old Carver man who committed an armed robbery in New Bedford in February 2019 was sentenced last Thursday in Fall River Superior Court to serve three to four years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
George Cowen pleaded guilty to a single indictment charging him with Armed Robbery.
On February 19, 2019, off-duty police office Dan Duclos was present at Shawmut Package store located at 558 Shawmut Avenue in New Bedford when he observed a suspicious male enter the store around 2:30 PM. The male was just standing near the beer cooler with his hand in his sweatshirt pocket. The owner asked the male if he needed help, and the individual just said they didn’t have what he wanted and exited the store. Officer Duclos believed the individual had shoplifted from the store, and subsequently followed the individual out. He observed the suspect enter a vehicle about 100 yards south of the store, despite there being ample parking in front of the store. Officer Duclos obtained the plate number belonging to a 2004 Crown Ford Victoria registered to a George Cowen. Officer Duclos went back and reviewed the surveillance footage and was able to see that the suspect entered the store with his hand in his sweatshirt pocket, as if holding an object inside, and he remained that way throughout the encounter in the store, and that he in fact had not shoplifted.
Subsequently, at approximately 2:47 PM, New Bedford Police respond to an armed robbery at JC’s variety store, located at 377 Cedar Street. The clerk told police that a male approximately 5’10, white, heavy set and wearing a black baseball hat entered the store armed with a knife and took money out of the cash register. Police observe the surveillance footage corroborating the victim’s recitation of events. The clerk told police that the individual brandished a knife as though he was going to stab the victim, and he opened the drawer for him. He said the male then took approximately $400 before fleeing the store.
At this time, officers become aware of Officer Duclos’s prior interaction at Shawmut Package, which is approximately .3 miles from JC’s variety store. Police were able to compare surveillance footage from the two stores and note that the individuals in each appear to be the same person, and also, that the photo of George Cowen obtained by Officer Duclos appeared to be the same individuals in the surveillance videos as well. Surveillance footage outside of JC’s Variety also shows a Ford Crown Victoria identical to the one identified by Officer Duclos, driving slowly by the convenience store, parking down the street, and in the vicinity where the suspect comes from and returns to after the robbery.
At the time of his arrest in late February 2019, the defendant was on Superior Court probation out of Plymouth County.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kristen Wiley and the sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.
“Despite being on probation, the defendant committed a violent armed robbery against the victim who was just trying to make a living. He is a danger to the community and needs to be kept off the street,” District Attorney Quinn said.
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