By Ken MacLeod, WBZ-TVBy Ken MacLeod

HAVERHILL (CBS) – Police in Haverhill are hoping the public will help them catch an armed robber.

They worry the pistol-wielding guy with the mask captured by surveillance cameras is not your garden-variety hold-up man – and it’s got nothing to do with the white face paint he appears to be wearing.

Haverhill Police are searching for the suspect in an armed robbery (Haverhill Police)

Haverhill Police are searching for the suspect in an armed robbery (Haverhill Police)

“Thank God the gun jammed,” says Deputy Chief Donald Thompson. “Or we’d have more than just a robbery.”

It’s hard to see the gun in his hand as the suspect strolls into the Dudley Street Tedeschi’s just before 6:30 Thursday morning. But you can see the female clerk with her hands up as he demands cash.

When the clerk couldn’t get the cash drawer open, though, the gunman becomes visibly agitated – trying unsuccessfully to shoot her not once – but twice.

“The gun jammed,” says the Deputy Chief. “He cocked it again, pointed it at her again, and it jammed a second time.”

We’re told he stole five bucks from a customer and ran.

Priscilla Belmer’s daughter works at the store. “There must have been something wrong with the gun,” she says. “If he could’ve shot it, it would’ve killed the clerk. That’s kind of horrible.”

Indeed, police say the gunman’s quick trigger finger indicates a frightening and irrational unpredictability, and they’re hoping a tipster will point them to the guy before someone gets shot.

Store customers share that hope.

“That’s an amateur,” says Al Shaw. “He must be broke – looking for cash.”

And since he didn’t get much his first time around most everyone fears he’ll hit again soon, bringing with him the same limited patience – but a gun that works.

“What is the point of committing murder for something like that?” customer Nick Katsaros asked outside the store.

“He’s desperate,” concludes Deputy Chief Thompson.

Police believe the gunman is a white man in his early 20’s with dark, curly hair. He was wearing a blue hoodie and gray jeans – in addition to a white mask pulled up over his nose.

Anyone with information is asked to call Haverhill Police at 978-373-1212.


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