SAUGUS (CBS) — Police are looking for a man they say stole hundreds of dollars of merchandise from Dick’s Sporting Goods–as well as the taxi that brought him there.
Saugus Police said they got a call from the staff of the store on Broadway at the Square One Mall around 6:45 p.m. Sunday, saying that a possible shoplifter had run out of the store.
Shortly beforehand, Jose Antonio Grullon picked up a customer in Lynn with his taxi. He drove the man to the Square One Mall but said he immediately got a bad feeling when the man asked him to wait outside.
Saugus Police Lt. Ron Giorgetti said the suspect ran out of the store five minutes later, carrying three jackets he didn’t buy and being chased by another man.
The North Face jackets were valued at a total of $879.
“He fled into the parking lot and attempted to enter the cab,” Lt. Georgetti told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope. “The cab driver became nervous witnessing him leaving and being chased, locked the doors, and the suspect proceeded to smash the driver’s side window.”
Grullon put his cab in reverse as the man tried to climb in but stopped when the suspect put something that Grullon suspected was a gun against his rib cage.
Police said the man eventually opened the door using the interior handle and threw the driver out.
“He said ‘drive,’ I said ‘no, take the car, don’t kill me.’ I gave him the car and he [drove] away,” Grullon told WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod.
Fortunately, the taxi driver was not seriously hurt.
The suspect was described as white and in his 30s with salt-and-pepper hair and a goatee. Police said he was wearing a black hat and jacket at the time, and that he would likely have a visible hand injury from breaking the glass window.
“We believe he should have minor injuries to his hand from punching the window, there was some small traces of blood on the window,” Lt. Giorgetti told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler.
The taxi, which has still not been recovered, is a gray 2008 Ford Fusion operated by Garcia’s Taxi, with a Massachusetts license plate reading 412c.
Grullon fears what could happen to the next victim.
“This guy’s crazy, he can kill somebody,” he said.
Anyone who sees the suspect or the taxi is asked to contact Saugus Police.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports