Barber hero named citizen of the year
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | December 13,2012
POULTNEY — Jeffrey Roberts’ barbershop has a pretty good view of Main Street in Poultney, allowing him to help catch a handful of bank robbers in the last couple of years.
The most recent bank robbery he helped solve led to Roberts being named Poultney’s 2012 Citizen of the Year.
“I saw the woman get out of a car parked in front of the shop. When she came back there was steam or smoke from the money bomb the (tellers) had put in there,” said Roberts, 57, owner of People’s Choice barbershop.
He recalled the bank robbery at the local Citizens Bank just over a year ago. “I got the license plate number,” he said. “The police was very happy about that arrest.”
Roberts’ actions that November afternoon and his similar actions during a robbery in 2009 led the tellers at the bank to nominate him for this year’s Poultney Citizen of the Year, a nomination confirmed by the Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce.
“(Roberts) has a presence of mind to recognize something that didn’t seem ‘quite right’ in our small town, and take notice of details which led to the arrest of the individuals who robbed our bank,” said the nomination letter signed by seven employees at the bank.
“The information he provided assisted in apprehending the individuals and putting an end to their crime spree,” the letter continued. “Who knows how long they would have remained unapprehended, or how many other robberies they would have committed had (Roberts) not been looking out for us on that day.”
Roberts said he was pleasantly surprised when he found out he was chosen as Citizen of the Year.
“I don’t think that I deserve it, as usual,” he said. “I don’t think I have done enough.”
Valerie Broughton, president of the Chamber of Commerce and the 2011 Citizen of the Year, called the letter “amazing” and the chamber also received a second letter nominating Roberts for the honor.
“We try to choose people that we feel help the town,” she said. “This man is so well-beloved by so many people. You can talk to anyone and they will say he is amazing.”
The Citizens Bank tellers ended their letter by saying, “He may not don a cape, but he definitely is a hero to us, and the Poultney community is certainly a better place for having him as a member.”
A celebratory reception will honor Roberts this weekend. It will start at 5 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion located at 689 Granville St. in town.