By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — Police said they were able to solve a recent robbery of the Pentucket Bank after they released bank surveillance photos of the suspect. They say they’ve had good success with catching other suspects as well after their images were published, prompting phone calls to police by people who were able to identify them.
Now police are asking for the public’s help again.
Investigators are looking to solve an armed robbery of the Bradford Liquors at 91 South Main St. that took place Wednesday night and have released a store surveillance image of a suspect. Police said the man wore a mask and showed a store clerk a black handgun. The masked man got away with an undisclosed amount of cash from the register, police said.
Anyone with information should contact Detective Meaghan Buckley at Haverhill Police Department at 978-373-1212.
Police spokesman Detective Lt. Robert Pistone said the robbery was reported at 9:31 p.m. A female clerk told police a white male who wore a mask to hide his face walked into the store brandishing a black handgun, then demanded cash from the register. The suspect is described as approximately 6-feet tall, husky build, and that he wore a black mask, black hat and grey hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. He was also wearing bluejeans and black shoes.
Pistone said an alert was issued and a search of the area was conducted, but a suspect was not located. He said the store provided investigators with a surveillance image of the suspect.
“Having surveillance images published has been has been a tremendous help in solving crimes,” Pistone said. “Having these images posted online and in print gives us the ability to reach a very large audience, and very quickly, and has resulted in the apprehension of suspects.”
After an armed robbery of a CVS in late September, police arrested a man whose photo from a store video appeared in The Eagle-Tribune. A reader identified the man and police arrested him at his home.
On April 27, a man walked into the Pentucket Bank at 35 Merrimack St. and handed a note to a teller demanding money, then left through the front door and ran away, police said. The bank provided police with still photos from the robbery showing the suspect wearing black fingerless gloves and a zipper-up jacket with a hood, dark pants and dark shoes. Police released the photos and they were published in the April 28 edition of The Eagle-Tribune, resulting in several tips that the man in the image lived on Summer Street, investigators said.
“Publishing those photos was a huge help in solving the crime,” Pistone said. “By Sunday evening we had a strong suspect in the case and within 72 hours of the robbery we had a man under arrest.”
Police charged 24-year-old Jose Alberto Camacho with armed robbery. At his arraignment in Haverhill District Court, Camacho was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail and issued a 60-day warning, meaning if he commits another offense while his case is pending, he could be held for up to 60 days without bail. Camacho is due back in court June 3 for a probable cause hearing.
Pistone said more businesses are using video surveillance systems these days as they are less bulky and less expense than they used to be.
“Some business owners have Apps on their smartphones and can view what’s happening at their business,” he said.