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Police: Clerk Throws 'Chili Powder' in Gunman's Face, Thwarts Robbery

The same suspect that recently committed five armed robberies, including one in Woburn, in the area attempted a sixth Sunday night at a Main Street convenience store in Stoneham, according to police.

 

The same suspect that recently committed five armed robberies, including one in Woburn, in the area attempted a sixth Sunday night at a Main Street convenience store in Stoneham, according to Stoneham Detective Christopher Dalis.

At 9:21 p.m. on Veterans Day, police responded to a report of an attempted armed robbery at the C-Store, 41 Main St. in Stoneham.

"(The) suspect brandished a handgun; however, did not get any cash," Dalis said. "Clerk did not mace the suspect but did throw a cup of 'chili powder' in his face."

The suspect fled the store toward George Street, according to Dalis, and a Massachusetts State Police K-9 unit was called in. Dalis said it is unknown if a getaway vehicle was used during the attempted armed robbery Sunday but did add that it was "highly likely."

Currently, police are working to get surveillance video from the C-Store, according to Dalis.

The suspect is described as being a white male, approximately 5-foot-8, wearing a black hat, black mask, black sweat shirt, black gloves, black running pants with a white stripe down the leg and black sneakers with white soles, according to police.

The description of the suspect in Sunday's attempted armed robbery appears to match the ones given by witnesses in five armed robberies—including one at the DB Mart convenience store and another at Sunset Tanning in Stoneham—in the area since Oct. 30, according to Dalis. The suspect also robbed businesses at gunpoint in Winchester and Woburn, according to investigators.

There were nighttime armed robberies Nov. 2 at the DB Mart in Woburn, Nov. 5 at the Dairy Barn in Winchester and Nov. 7 at Richdale Convenience Store at 54 West Wyoming Ave. in Melrose, according to investigators. As with the other armed robberies in the region, an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from the register in both cases, according to police.

Anyone with information related to the robberies is asked to contact Stoneham Detective Christopher Dalis at 781-438-1215 ext. 3133, Melrose Police Detective Bureau at 781-979-4473 or 781-979-4472 or Melrose Police's anonymous tips line at 781-979-4470.

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