LYNN (CBS) – A man accused in a robbery spree in Lynn over the weekend was also pretending to be a police officer, investigators said.
Christian Alvarez, 33, of Lynn, was arraigned Monday in Lynn District Court on several charges.
Police say he stopped his victims by driving what they thought was an unmarked police cruiser because it had a flashing white light.
“When I went to pull out my license, he took my wallet,” one victim who wanted to stay anonymous said.
When officers got a call about a robbery on Iona Terrace early Saturday morning, a woman told them a man identified himself as a police officer and showed her a badge. The man then grabbed the woman’s wallet and drove off. She was able to give them a description of him and his car, which they found a short time later on Broad Street.
“When I go to bed I still see it,” the victim said. “He had the badge, had the flashlight everything.”
Police said Alvarez drove off, hit a parked car and then backed into a police cruiser before getting away. He then crashed into a tree on Silsbee Street and ran off, according to investigators.
He was captured, arrested and brought to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he was treated for injuries from the crashes.
Afterwards, police were alerted to two other robberies with a similar suspect, car and flashing white light, which officers found in Alvarez’s car.
He’s now suspected in three robberies on Saturday and police are still looking to see if he’s linked to any other crimes.
“They’re a scumbag and they deserve to be in jail,” the victim said of the suspect. “How can you do that to somebody that you don’t even know?”
They also think Alvarez may have been targeting Hispanic victims, who police say may be less likely to report the incidents to them.
Alvarez is being held without bail pending a mental evaluation.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lynn Police at 781-595-2000.