June 19, 2017
Members of NEMLEC SWAT search the area around the Square One Mall where it was reported that a man with a gun was inside in Saugus on Monday, June 19, 2017.
Photo by Scott Eisen
By Matt Demirs
For the Item
SAUGUS — A 16-year old Everett boy was arrested Monday after breaking into Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Square One Mall.
The suspect, who was unnamed because he is a juvenile, led police on a five-hour search of the property. He is charged with intent to commit a felony, destruction of property, and larceny of a firearm, police said.
Authorities are still searching for a weapon that may have been stolen from the store, according to Saugus Police Chief Domenic DiMella.
The mall, which was closed until after 1 p.m., left customers and employees in the parking lot on Essex Street awaiting news the mall was safe.
“Square One Mall in Saugus is now open, but specific retailer re-opening times may vary,” said Michael Connell, mall manager, in a statement. “Dick’s Sporting Goods will remain closed for the remainder of today, June 19. We are grateful the incident was resolved safely and quickly by Saugus Police and other area law enforcement agencies.”
Saugus and State Police were at the scene of the Route 1 shopping complex after they received a report at 4:30 a.m. of a break-in at the store.
“An officer arrived quickly and observed a broken window, evidence of a break-in, and located a young male in possession of a long gun and several bags that appeared to contain ammunition,” DiMella told reporters.
Shortly after 7 a.m., Saugus police released a statement indicating a search was on in the mall for an armed and dangerous intruder.
In the early morning, police hung crime tape across mall entrances and kept customers from entering. About 15 employees were waiting in a Square One parking lot at 8 a.m. for permission to enter their workplaces.
A Dick’s employee told The Item the store’s workers were sent home for the day.
Employees from Sears crowded the parking lot awaiting clearance from police.
Chandler Laguerre, a Sears employee, said he didn’t expect anything like this when he arrived to work that morning.
“It makes me feel not safe at all,” he said. “I’m just worried for everyone involved.”
Helicopters circled the property and SWAT and K-9 teams arrived to the scene at 7 a.m. They scoured the perimeter until the suspect was apprehended in the early afternoon.
“We worked with the mall very closely, there was a lot of video to go through,” said DiMella. “We actually had contact with this suspect at the scene.”
David DeRuosi, superintendent of Saugus Public Schools, said Saugus High School, Belmonte Middle School, Waybright Elementary School, and Oaklandvale Elementary School were secured in place because of their proximity to the shopping center.
SWAT and K-9 units arriving to Square One Mall, where an alleged gunman is said to be inside Dick's Sporting Goods. pic.twitter.com/Z8E8Ck2Cs0
— The Daily Item (@itemlive) June 19, 2017
Matt Demirs can be reached at email@example.com.
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