Methuen hit with string of armed robberies

Posted: 03/02/13 at 10:45 pm EST      Last Updated: 03/02/13 at 11:38 pm EST

METHUEN, Mass. (WHDH) -- Police in Methuen are on alert after a spike in armed robberies, including one caught on camera Saturday night.

Police said the increased crime is likely related to drugs. A TD Bank was robbed Friday night- the third one robbed in the last few weeks.

The suspect apparently cut holes in a white t-shirt to use as a mask.

On Saturday night, surveillance cameras caught an armed robbery in action.

The man walked into a Sunoco minimart with a gun, tried to cover up his face and yelled at the woman behind the counter, demanding cash. The cashier wasn’t hurt, but the suspect got away.

Police don’t think the man in the surveillance video is the same man in some recently released surveillance still photos from Friday night’s armed robbery at the TD bank. They’re not ruling anything out and they do say it’s possible a larger group is committing these crimes.

Several TD Banks have been hit and police believe Friday night’s robbery is connected to a similar armed robbery in February. Both times there was a white man wearing a mask. He had a gun and made off with cash. There was third similar case in January except the suspect in this case wasn’t wearing a mask.

Police believe the robberies are related to an increased use of opiate in town.

“It’s a rampant problem. It’s continuing to increase and it’s causing people to act in an extremely, extremely dangerous manner. We’re making it our priority to capture the subject or subjects involved in these crimes and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said an official.

No arrests have been made in any of these cases so far. Police are asking the public to help identify the suspects shown in the pictures.

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