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      Police task force to focus on downtown Attleboro

      Attleboro police said Thursday they will step up patrols in the city's downtown after a rash of robberies stretching from Bristol County to Boston.

      The owner of Scorpio's in downtown Attleboro is pleased with the news of more police presence.

      "I've had to count on them on a couple of occasions, and they have been absolutely wonderful," Elisabetta Scorpio Costantini said.

      Police are starting a new program to work more directly with local businesses to protect them against robberies.

      "Members of our POP team, which is problem oriented policing, they're going to pay visits to the business owners and the employees, introduce themselves, get a line of communication going," said Sgt. Arthur Brillon.

      This comes after a rash of high-profile robberies in neighboring communities, especially those at several Dunkin' Donuts shops.

      "With the highways connecting these cities and towns, it's easy for these individuals wanting to commit crimes to move from town to town and branch out," Brillon said.

      Scorpio Costantini said she's pleased with the new task force.

      "It's a very safe community now, maybe it wasn't so much a few years back. But the mayor and the chief really have worked hard to make it a good community, and they're still working on that. Of course, we want our customers to feel comfortable coming. We want our staff feeling comfortable coming to work," Scorpio Costantini said.

      "I'm confident that if I ever needed them at they would be here in 30 seconds or less," she said.