By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — Police said a masked man who robbed the Red Hen Market on River Street at gunpoint early Sunday morning may be the same person responsible for a robbery there two weeks ago.
In both instances the man was wearing a black hoodie and a mask and was carrying a black handgun when he entered the store. The robberies happened at approximately the same time of day, police said.
On Sunday at 5:19 a.m., police responded to the Red Hen Market (formerly White Hen Pantry) on a report of a robbery.
When officers arrived a store clerk said he was standing behind the counter when a masked man walked into the store and walked to the back of the counter.
Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said the man pointed a gun at the clerk while taking an undisclosed amount of money from the register then left the store. The suspect was described as being approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds.
Thompson said the description is very close to one given to police after the store was robbed two weeks ago. In that robbery, which was reported on Friday, Aug. 16 about 5:30 a.m., the robber was described as being about 5-foot-8 and weighing about 190 pounds.
Thompson said the clerk told officers that he was in the store cooler stacking shelves when a customer walked in. The clerk said he walked out of the cooler and saw a man wearing a black hoodie and a mask, according to police.
“The suspect waved the clerk over to him with a black, semi-automatic handgun,” Thompson said. “The suspect then ordered the clerk to empty the cash drawers.”
Thompson said the suspect then fled the store with an undetermined amount of cash and was last observed running towards Washington Street.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact police at 978-373-1212. Messages can also be left on the police anonymous tip line by dialing 978-373-1212 and following the prompts.