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April 21, 2013

Police aim to break bandit's 'good luck' streak


“He’s just having some good luck,” said Methuen police Chief Joseph Solomon. “The problem is he’s getting more and more brazen and more and more confrontational. That’s what leads to violence. We’d really like to apprehend him before something more serious occurs.”

‘He’s armed and dangerous’

Solomon said police believe the bandit may be shifting his focus westward, as the last three robberies were committed at banks in Westford, Chelmsford and Acton. But he also held up Route 110 Convenience on East Street in Methuen one week ago.

The FBI, which is heading up the investigation, will not disclose how much money the bandit has stolen. But they announced earlier this month they are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Digital billboards soliciting tips from the public have also been posted, including along Interstate 495 in Lawrence.

In each robbery, witnesses said the suspect was dressed similarly in a hooded sweatshirt with his face partially concealed.

The suspect has been described as a 150-pound man, 5 feet 6 inches or 5 feet 7 inches tall with manicured eyebrows. Solomon said several witnesses have also reported that the suspect may have an accent, though no specifics have been given.

Local police detectives formed a task force with the FBI in early April and at least 15 local departments are now working together. But Solomon noted the majority of FBI and public safety resources are now being directed to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

“All we know is the description we’ve put out there,” said Solomon. “We don’t have a profile from the FBI. ... With the situation in Boston I don’t see that happening soon.”

Solomon said a FBI profile typically would include a suspect’s age, ethnicity, occupation and personality traits. Other information, like what a suspect typically does after committing a robbery or whether they are drug addict, may also be provided, he said.

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