Local Crime, Police/Fire

Hunt continues for robber who fired shots at Shop Kwik in Lynn

LYNN — Two men robbed a Lynnfield Street convenience store and shot at a clerk who followed them outside after the incident on Monday night.

Police responded to Shop Kwik, at 534 Lynnfield St., shortly after 10 p.m., and learned that two masked men went into the store and demanded money. One suspect showed a handgun, Lynn Police Lt. Michael Kmiec said.

One suspect went behind the counter and took an undetermined amount of cash from the register, Kmiec said.

There were two clerks inside the store during the robbery. One clerk, a 24-year-old man, followed the suspects outside as they were running away — one suspect fired a round at the clerk, but he wasn’t hit, Kmiec said.

There were no injuries and no arrests have been made. The incident is under investigation.

The Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce shared an alert on Facebook from Lynn Police Capt. Mark O’Toole about a recent surge in convenience store robberies in the city.

O’Toole said there appears to be two active groups committing the vast majority of the robberies. One group involves two Hispanic men at each robbery, who have mainly targeted stores which have Hispanic owners or clerks — the group also appears to be robbing convenience stores in East Boston and Chelsea.

Police believe that group is responsible for the Shop Kwik robbery, and that they also robbed Sofia’s Market, 76 Lewis St., at gunpoint on Monday shortly before 10 p.m. Lynn Police is working with other law enforcement agencies in the area to find and arrest the group.

Victims from some of the other robberies who are from the Dominican Republic and Colombia told police that the suspects spoke to them in Spanish and relayed that their dialect sounded like they were from Puerto Rico, O’Toole said.

Police were also told that the suspects from the group speak perfect English — a non-Spanish speaking customer walked into one of the stores in the midst of a robbery and told police that the suspects immediately transitioned to English to communicate with her, O’Toole said.

In the alert issued to the Chamber of Commerce, police gave some advice to convenience store owners, managers and employees.

Lynn Police advised store employees or owners to immediately call 911 after a robbery, try to limit ads and other obstructions from store windows, make sure surveillance video equipment is functioning and to be aware of “casing” behavior, O’Toole said.

That behavior may include someone coming into a store, looking around and not purchasing anything or someone asking questions about what time the store closes, how many people are working, or them making a small purchase to see how much cash is kept in the register, O’Toole said.

“Please do not chase, struggle with, or attempt to apprehend these subjects,” O’Toole said. “The robbery at Shop Kwik did not result in any injuries, but could have been a tragedy.”

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