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Grenade Robber Held On $250K Bail

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ROCKLAND (CBS) – The man police say held up a Union Street convenience store Friday night is being held on $250,000 cash bail after his arraignment Wednesday in Hingham District Court.

Police say Mark Whittles, 49, of Pembroke, entered Tedeschi’s Convenience Store wearing a green bandana over his face, showed a hand-grenade and demanded money and cigarettes before running away.

During Wednesday’s arraignment prosecutors said it was the green bandana and cigarettes that gave Whittles away.

Police said they received a tip on Monday from a person who said his friend had carried around a green bandana for years and smoked unfiltered Camel cigarettes. Police also received a call from Whittles’ sister Friday night alerting them that he had not returned to her apartment, where he was staying. Police also received another anonymous tip from someone who recognized Whittles in the surveillance video.

Whittles is being charged with armed robbery, possession of an explosive device and threats concerning the location of dangerous items.

Rockland Police Chief John Llewellyn said detectives asked trash collectors not to pick up the trash outside the apartment building. According to prosecutors, the grenade belonged to Whittles’ sister.

In that trash, police found the grenade hidden in a soup can.

Llewellyn said the grenade was old, but Whittles had rigged the grenade to potentially explode using a gun shell.

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