Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

September 5, 2013

Suspects in armed robbery still at-large

Police say downtown safe as they pursue crime leads

By Dustin Luca

---- — A week after an armed robbery shook downtown Andover, police have stepped up patrols of the area as they continue to search for suspects.

The two suspects who reportedly robbed a 19-year-old woman of her purse at gun-point while she was walking home from work remained at large as of The Townsman’s deadline on Tuesday night.

The robbery was reported at around 9:30 p.m. last Thursday, Aug. 29, in the area of Main Street near Locke Street, according to a press release issued by Andover police. The two suspects reportedly fled down Locke Street after the robbery, police said.

The victim, who works downtown, told police both men were armed with handguns and ran up behind her, the release said.

She described the suspects as about 6 feet tall, of thin build and appearing to be between 17 and 23 years old. They were wearing dark pants and black tops with the hoods pulled up and had handkerchiefs covering their faces, police said. Neither sounded as if they had accents, the victim told police.

Police are still investigating the incident, and have spent time “doing some canvassing of the area, re-interviewing witnesses,” and acting on what they learn, police Lt. Edward Guy said.

“We don’t have any further information regarding the incident, but they’re working diligently, working some leads they do have,” Guy said on Tuesday.

Despite the report, Guy said downtown remains safe, although some caution should be exercised at night.

“We do have patrols down in that area,” Guy said. “When you’re out at nighttime, we do recommend you make sure you’re aware of your surroundings.

“If you notice anything suspicious, any suspicious people, don’t hesitate to contact us.”

Rick Pruneau, owner of Park Street Pub located a few blocks from the robbery scene, was on vacation when the incident occurred. But he said as soon as he returned, his female employees started asking him about the incident.

“A lot of people are worried about it,” Pruneau said. “When something happens downtown, it kind of affects everybody — customers and all of the businesses.”

Further complicating the issue is the fact that the suspects remain at large and little further information is available, Pruneau said.

“Right now, nobody knows about it,” he said. “Everyone is like, ‘How could this happen in Andover?’”

Anyone with information on the case can contact Andover Police Detective Mike Lane at 978-470-3864.