Man wanted for string of robberies strikes in Reading
READING, Mass. (WHDH) -- A man wanted for a string of local robberies held up a Reading gas station just moments after police left the premises.
Police were staked out at the gas station in hopes of catching the man who is wanted for robbing stores in Winchester, Stoneham, Woburn and Melrose in the last two weeks. Police believe the suspect was watching and waiting. After the officers left, he robbed the store and threatened the clerk with a gun.
The man made off with a few hundred dollars cash. Reading police said he fled the store and took off for the wooded section behind the gas station.
Police believe the robber kept a car in a nearby neighborhood. A woman who lives behind the gas station saw a beat up sedan parked outside her home on a side street just before the heist.
“I thought maybe they broke down because the car was a piece of junk. It was there for a while so I was going to go out and ask them if their car broke down or I was going to debate whether to call the police. And I thought, I better not go out there ‘cause I didn’t know what was going on,” said Janice White, who saw the vehicle parked on her street.
He is caught on camera again and again, but his face is not visible.
In a robbery Sunday, the owner of a convenience store in Stoneham didn't back down. He punched the suspect and threw chili powder at him.
"I use it for my food. I spray it on the food, so I just threw it on him and maybe he got something into his eyes,” said Saadat Khan.
The man, wearing dark clothing and a hooded sweatshirt, has been hitting stores and gas stations every few days.
Police are urging anyone who has any information to contact departments in any one of the communities that were robbed.