LYNN (CBS) – Convenience store owners in Lynn are being warned after a surge of robberies. Police say the suspects are armed with guns.
Surveillance video shows the crooks don’t seem to be in any hurry as they survey the store from the parking lot and wander off. But there’s more urgency when they burst into the “Shop Kwik” minutes later with the guy in the striped hoodie waving a silver pistol and barking orders.
“I just thought it was a prank or something else,” said clerk Harish Reddy Yella.
Harish did surrender the cash drawer to the robber in the blue hooded jacket, but as the armed bandits make their exit, Harish decides to give chase calling their bluff on the gun he thinks is a fake.
“He didn’t think the gun was real and he did go after the suspect outside the store,” said Lynn Police Lt. Mike Kmiec.
There is a brief scuffle, but the gunman’s shot misses Harish.
“I’m trying to take down him but when he shot on the ground then I realized that’s a real weapon that’s not a dummy gun,” Harish said.
Detectives told employees that this robbing crew may be responsible for 16 holdups in the last several weeks, not just in Lynn, but also in Chelsea and East Boston.
Lynn Police also have another masked bandit on the loose who’s hit six times since Christmas on the other side of town.
“At this point we do think it’s a public safety issue,” Lt. Kmiec said.
And with that in mind, Lynn Police have urged all shopkeepers to make sure their security cameras are working and to call 911 immediately after a holdup not precious minutes later.
But most of all, police are warning clerks not to confront armed robbers, no matter how fake they think their weapon looks.