By Mike LaBella firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — HAVERHILL — Two businesses were targeted by criminals over the weekend, one by a gunman who robbed a variety store, and the other by a man who smashed the window of a convenience store and took cartons of cigarettes, police said.
Police said the smash-and-grab thief man made the mistake of leaving behind a cell phone, which allowed officers to track him down and arrest him.
In the first incident, police said that just before 9 a.m. Friday, a man entered Riley’s Corner, a variety store at 352 Washington St., showed a female clerk a black handgun and demanded money. Police said the woman handed the man all money in the cash register, and the man left. Police said they searched the area but were unable to find the man.
The man, who is described as nearly 6 feet tall, was wearing a cloth cap with two stripes, a black leather jacket, dark shirt, black jeans and black sneakers. Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said detectives are reviewing store video surveillance tapes in hopes of identifying the suspect. An undetermined amount of cash was taken in the robbery.
On Sunday at 3:44 a.m., police responded to an alarm at the Racing Mart store, 402 Amesbury Road. When officers arrived they found someone had smashed a front window of the store with rocks. The store was missing 15 cartons of cigarettes.
“When the officers checked the scene they found a cell phone on the ground,” Thompson said. “As a result they were able to identify a suspect and arrest him.”
Police charged David Porter, 39, of 22 Bailey St., Lawrence, with breaking and entering, destruction of property and larceny over $250. Porter was arrested Sunday and arraigned on the charges yesterday in Haverhill District Court.